Venus and Mercury

The telescope awaited cloud dispersal in the early evening twilight yesterday, and I was finally able to get images of Venus (upper right) and Mercury (lower right). Venus shows a very thin crescent since it is between Earth and the Sun, while tiny Mercury appears round and is on the opposite side of the Sun. Over the next three weeks, Mercury will move between us and the Sun, and like Venus now, it will be a tiny, thin crescent before being lost in the sunset.

By mid January, Venus will be a thin crescent in the morning sky, and by the end of January it will be joined for a short time by a tiny crescent Mercury. These phase changes of the two inner planets convinced Galileo that the planets went around the Sun, not the Earth, and got him into a whole heap of trouble. But he turned out to be right.

Not long after we moved into our house here in Ocala, Florida, I had a very memorable experience while viewing the crescent Moon and crescent Venus all in the same evening, using the same telescope I used last night. The telescope was a present from my wife, Fairy twenty years ago and still performs wonderfully. See ”Lucky Me,”

Published by eskildoodle1

Retired physician with interests in writing, photography, music, and astronomy. I have written multiple stories of life experiences, travel, and astronomy, and have been playing the ukulele for 10 years. My wife Fairy and I travel frequently to the Pacific Islands of Hawaii, and French Polynesia, and I have learned several of their native-language songs. This blog will be a forum to share experiences with family and friends.

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