Archive for November 9, 2020

11/09/2020 – Ephemeris – Tiny Mercury makes an appearance in the morning sky

November 9, 2020 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Monday, November 9th. Today the Sun will be up for 9 hours and 48 minutes, setting at 5:20, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:33. The Moon, 1 day past last quarter, will rise at 1:26 tomorrow morning.

The tiny planet Mercury is now visible in the morning twilight. It will reach its greatest separation from the Sun in the morning sky. Astronomers call it “greatest western elongation”. It’s west of the Sun, but we’ll see it in the eastern sky as it rises at 5:49 am in the east-southeast. That’s an hour and 44 minutes before the Sun. By 6:15 or 6:30 am, it should be high enough to spot. That is if it’s clear, an iffy prospect this time of year. It will start to move back to the Sun and actually brighten retaining its best visibility for the next 7 days or so. Mercury has a very elliptical orbit of the Sun. During our two good seasons to view the planet, spring evenings and autumn mornings Mercury is closest to the Sun. Mercury is best seen in the southern hemisphere when its autumn morning appearances and spring evening appearances are seen when Mercury is farthest from the Sun.

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


Mercury and Venus in the morning at 6:30 am

Mercury and Venus in the morning at 6:30 am. Created using Stellarium.