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Friday, January 09, 2015

 

Conjunction of Venus and Mercury this Sunday January 11, 2015

Evening sky on Sunday January 11 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 21:00 (9:00 pm) ACDST in South Australia.  Click to embiggen.

Venus and Mercury are very close together in the twilight. Similar views will be seen elsewhere at the equivalent local time (click to embiggen).


Mercury and Venus have been edging together all week, this process cumulates on Sunday (11 January) when they are at their closest (one finger-width apart, approximately 1 degree).

While at their closest on Sunday, on the days leading up to their meeting and a couple of days after they are still impressively close.

While they  are relatively low in the twilight, a little over half an hour after sunset Venus is really obvious, and Mercury can be seen with a bit of patience below Venus, as seen in the image below. You will need a fairly clear, level horizon to see them.


Venus and Mercury imaged on Tuesday 6 January. 1 second exposure ASA 400 with my Canon IXUS. You may have to click the image to embiggen to see Mercury to the left and below of Venus.


The 11th is also when comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy is at its brightest, so this is a good night for observing, maybe head out somewhere with dark skies and level horizons.

Of course, the next few days are predicted to be massive rain storms with flooding potential here.

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