Archive for February 11, 2020

02/11/2020 – Ephemeris – The elusive planet Mercury is appearing in the evening twilight

February 11, 2020 Comments off

I’m back with Ephemeris for Tuesday, February 11th. Today the Sun will be up for 10 hours and 15 minutes, setting at 6:05, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:48. The Moon, 2 days past full, will rise at 9:15 this evening.

The elusive planet Mercury is making it first evening appearance in the sky for this year. Yesterday was its greatest eastern elongation from the Sun of 18 degrees angular distance. It hasn’t changed much for tonight, but will shortly start creeping back towards the Sun. Mercury should be spotted by 6:30 in the evening way below and right of the much brighter Venus in the western sky. It might take binoculars to spot that early, but 15 minutes later it should be visible without them, but be much lower in the sky. Mercury has an 88 day orbit of the Sun, but we are viewing it from another moving planet, so greatest elongations and conjunctions with the Sun occur at roughly 116 day intervals, known as the synodic period.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.


Mercury E Elong_1630-021120

Venus and Mercury in the western sky at 6:30 p.m.  (about 25 minutes after sunset)  Created using Stellarium.

Categories: Ephemeris Program, Planets Tags: ,