Observing

Get ready for October’s pre-dawn Moon and planet show

30 September 2015 Ade Ashford

Now that planet Saturn is effectively lost in the dusk twilight for UK-based observers, you may be wondering what has happened to the other four bright naked-eye planets. Far from disappearing, they have just transferred to the morning sky. From 8—11 October, the waning crescent Moon acts as a guide to Venus, Mars, Jupiter then Mercury in the eastern dawn sky.

Observing

Mercury’s best early evening twilight show for 2015

1 May 2015 Ade Ashford

The first ten days of May offer observers in the British Isles their best opportunity to see Mercury in the early evening twilight during 2015. So, if you’ve never seen the innermost planet, let dazzling Venus be your convenient guide to this elusive little world.

Observing

See a 1-day-old Moon challenge

21 January 2015 Ade Ashford

What’s the youngest Moon you’ve ever seen? While the best opportunities generally occur in Northern Hemisphere spring when the ecliptic’s high, 21st January offers UK observers a 28-hour-old lunar crescent.

News

NASA spacecraft to get bonus time studying Mercury

29 December 2014 Stephen Clark

Running low on fuel after completing the first global survey of Mercury, NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft could get an extra month of time at the solar system’s innermost planet thanks to a crafty new way of using helium gas to temporarily forestall the mission’s end next year.

News

Carnegie hosts Mercury crater-naming contest

16 December 2014 Astronomy Now

To celebrate MESSENGER’s highly successful ten-year mission, you’re invited to immortalise five famous artists, composers or writers by naming craters on Mercury in their honour — but hurry, the contest closes 15th January 2015!

Observing

Good Morning Mercury

14 October 2014 Peter Grego

Forget about Mercury’s evening appearance in the first half of this month – it is its morning apparition towards the end of October and into November that is the cause of celebration.