25 April 2009

Cosmic Juxtaposition: Pleiades, Mercury and Moon

The next three evenings present a visually stimulating lineup of objects near and far in a juxtaposition that is just right for binoculars. You will need a clear western horizon so I have my fingers crossed that conditions permit this at Ocean Beach in San Francisco, but wherever you are, the diagram shows the close alignment of Mercury and the Pleiades star cluster and the daily motion of the Moon through this configuration. On Saturday 25th the challenge will be to spot the very young Moon. On Sunday 26th the sight of all three things in one binocular-field-of-view. And if you get a weather trifecta and see this three nights in a row, then Monday 27th you will have seen just how far the Moon *and* Mercury move in 48 hours - and I think the results will surprise you.

Happy Viewing!


Sidewalk Universe said...

More cosmic showing on the way - hope you guys get a great view! It is so much fun to watch our local system in motion! Great posting Paul!

Sidewalk Universe said...

That was one thin Moon tonight hugging the horizon!

The Urban Astronomer said...

Didn't get a chance to see the Moon on Saturday but this evening it was a nice sight with Mercury, then the Pleiades and then the Moon. My daughter took in the sight from the back stairs using my binoculars. She was picking off the stars of Orion as the darkness fell. Nice!