The Half-Astrophysicist Blog

A Pretty Site Sunday Night

Sunday night is a good chance to see a pretty grouping in the western sky after sunset.  The show starts with the very thin crescent Moon poppoing out shortly after sunset.  It will be only about 5% lit.  Earthsine should illuminate the dark side of the Moon, always a pretty site.

As the sky gets darker, you will see elusive Mercury pop into view slightly below the Moon.  Mercury never gets very far from the Sun, but this is its best evening appearance of the year and will be easier to find than usual.  If you have binoculars, train them on Mercury.  Mercury goes through phases just like the Moon…can you see Mercury’s phase?  How does it compare to the Moon’s phase?

Finally, look closely between the Moon and Mercury for the Pleaides, also known as the Seven Sisters.  This young cluster of stars is visible to the naked eye from a dark site, but you might need binoculars if you look before ti gets dark enough.

Unfortunately, I am traveling and do not have my good camera with me, so I probably wont’ get my usual photos (unless I can find one to borrow here!).

Here is a finder chart for tomrrow night I made using Stellarium for Tucson, Arizona (click to embiggen).

4-26-map0001

April 26, 2009 - Posted by | Observing, Solar System

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