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2006 February Mercury Elongation
Digital SLR/Camera Lens/Untracked



Mercury setting into evening twilight (From image: 247.CR2) February 24, 2006
About 6¼-deg above mean horizon.

Mercury setting into evening twilight (From image: 246.CR2) February 24, 2006

 

Astronomical Note

For Earth-based observers, Mercury is often caught in the solar glare due to its tight orbit around the Sun. Your best bet for seeing this speedy planet is at twilight in the days around greatest elongation - when the angle between it and the Sun reaches a local maximum as seen from the Earth. Elongations are either East of the Sun (rising after the Sun) or West of the Sun (rising before the Sun). These elongations alternate throughout the year: an Eastern elongation is followed about 6-weeks later by a Western elongation which is followed about 10-weeks later by an Eastern and so on. Western elongations follow Eastern ones closely because the planet is racing past us during this time. The longer interval from Western to Eastern elongation is due to Mercury racing around the Sun and coming out "behind" us. 

 

Youíll get about six elongations in a typical year. The number of days either side of an elongation that Mercury is visible depends a lot on how far down to the horizon you can see. Mercury is brilliant, at about magnitude zero, around these times and twilight extinguishes most surrounding stars: you should have no trouble picking it out. If you have a clear horizon during an elongation, donít put off an observation: Mercury, the fleet-footed messenger of the gods, doesnít hang around for long.

 

Original File Information

File Name 246.CR2 (RAW)
Camera Model Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XT
Shooting Date/Time 2/24/2006 6:35:50 PM
Tv( Shutter Speed ) 3.2
Av( Aperture Value ) 5.6
ISO Speed 400
Lens 28.0 - 105.0mm
Focal Length 98.0mm
Image Size 3456x2304
Flash Off
White Balance Mode Auto
AF Mode Manual focusing
Parameters Settings
Contrast Standard
Sharpness Standard
Color saturation High
Color tone 0
Color Space sRGB
Noise Reduction On
File Size 6828KB
Custom Function
C.Fn:01-0
C.Fn:02-1
C.Fn:03-0
C.Fn:04-0
C.Fn:05-0
C.Fn:06-0
C.Fn:07-0
C.Fn:08-0
C.Fn:09-0
Drive Mode Self-Timer Operation
File Name 247.CR2 (RAW)
Camera Model Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XT
Shooting Date/Time 2/24/2006 6:36:44 PM
Tv( Shutter Speed ) 5
Av( Aperture Value ) 5.6
ISO Speed 400
Lens 28.0 - 105.0mm
Focal Length 50.0mm
Image Size 3456x2304
Flash Off
White Balance Mode Auto
AF Mode Manual focusing
Parameters Settings
Contrast Standard
Sharpness Standard
Color saturation High
Color tone 0
Color Space sRGB
Noise Reduction On
File Size 6656KB
Custom Function
C.Fn:01-0
C.Fn:02-1
C.Fn:03-0
C.Fn:04-0
C.Fn:05-0
C.Fn:06-0
C.Fn:07-0
C.Fn:08-0
C.Fn:09-0
Drive Mode Self-Timer Operation
 

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