61 minutes of planet Mercury

61 minutes of planet Mercury

On Sunday 24 February, 2019, the weather was so perfect over Garching, Germany, that I could easily track Mercury from its first appearance over ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre in dusk sky (18:22 CET) until it reached the horizon (19:23 CET). It is not easy to catch Mercury in the sky, especially from city. That night the air was particullary clear. And even in general: This year gave us special circumstances from northern hemisphere – Mercury’s greatest elongation was only a month before northern spring equinox, when the planet can be seen best if positioned anglularly far away from Sun. So I prepared this multiexposure, taken every 1 minute (61 minutes, 61 images total in one), for foreground used one image with uniform lights form dusk, but also from lamps. All the dots or „stars“ are airplanes, particulary on right planes follow the corridor to the Munich airport. The image was taken only 2 days before Mercury’s greatest east elongation of the year on northern hemisphere. Mercury was about only 18 degrees far from Sun (which is not biggest elongation possible), but due to February inclination of the ecliptic it was enough to enjoy. Of course, much rarer experience should come with this year’s Mercury transit, latest one unitl 2032. Used Canon 6D, Samyang 24 mm, ISO 800, 61×1/8 sec. exposures.