Archive for June 4, 2020

06/04/2020 – Ephemeris – Mercury is at it’s greatest separation from the Sun today

June 4, 2020 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Thursday, June 4th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 25 minutes, setting at 9:24, and it will rise tomorrow at 5:58. The Moon, 1 day before full, will set at 5:53 tomorrow morning.

Today at 9 am the planet Mercury will be at its greatest eastern elongation. That’s what astronomers call it. Implied is that it is at its greatest angular separation east of the Sun. Mercury, and also Venus have orbits inside Earth’s orbit of the Sun. For that reason they are called inferior planets. Therefore they never stray far from the position of the Sun in the sky. From around our latitude near 45 degrees north, we never see Mercury outside of twilight. Mercury has a remarkably elliptical orbit ranging from 29 million miles (47 million km) to 43 million miles (70 million km) from the Sun. In both spring and fall at favorable elongations, we see Mercury near perihelion, that close point. Southern hemisphere observers get a better view of it. Having a late spring greatest eastern elongation we get to see Mercury farther from the Sun than the same elongation earlier in the year.

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


Mercury in the evening

Mercury in the evening tonight at 10 pm June 3, 2020 (About 45 minutes after sunset). Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.