Mercury Viewing, 2016

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Christopher K.
Posts: 4797
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Mercury Viewing, 2016

Post by Christopher K. » April 5th, 2016, 1:49 pm

April contains a number of great opportunities for viewing the most elusive of our System's planets.

This Friday Mercury and the Moon will set together during twilight. (Then on Sunday and Monday the Moon heads farther up toward Aldebaran.) The absolute best time of the month to view Mercury is from 9 April to 23 April (especially the 10th to 20th); look between west and northwest after sunset. The Burbank Soccer Complex, between the lake and the dog park, is an excellent location for this task.

The Highland Road Park Observatory will host two special early evening viewings for Mercury--on Friday the 16th from 6pm to 7:30pm and again on Friday the 23rd from 5:45pm to 7:15pm.

Mercury is "stationary" on the 28th.

Christopher K.
Posts: 4797
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Mercury Viewing, 2016

Post by Christopher K. » April 16th, 2016, 6:02 pm

Below is the NOAA forecast for HRPO's viewing time of 6pm to 10pm...
precipitation potential, 12%
sky cover, 80%
relative humidity, 73%
temperature, 23˚C
surface wind, E 18 km/h


Mercury viewing was to have been attempted until 7:30pm, but so far there has been no break in the clouds. HRPO, of course, will remain open until 10pm or until it begins to rain.

Christopher K.
Posts: 4797
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Mercury Viewing, 2016

Post by Christopher K. » April 23rd, 2016, 3:25 pm

Below is the NOAA forecast for HRPO's viewing time of 5:45pm to 7:15pm...
precipitation potential, 1%
sky cover, 3%
relative humidity, 55%
temperature, 23˚C
heat index, 28˚C
surface wind, N 7 km/h


Danko's Clear Dark Sky states that during HRPO's viewing time the transparency will be transparent (5 out of 5) and the seeing average (3 out of 5). Mercury viewing will be attempted from 5:45pm to 7:15pm. Visitors will see an astounding crescent Mercury, only 23% illuminated with an apparent magnitude of 1.1.

Visitors will also be able to buy a five-dollar raffle ticket for a $500 eight-inch reflecting telescope...
http://hrpo.lsu.edu/programs/ad_raffle.html

HRPO, of course, will have also regular sky viewing tonight at 7:30pm.

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