Mercury as Autumn Morning Star

Panorama of the eastern sky with Mercury and the Moon as seen from Chicagoland 30 minutes before sunrise from 2014 OCT 20 to NOV 26  - See article below.

Mercury - Elongations & Altitudes - 2014-15

The planet’s elongations from the Sun and altitudes above the horizon as viewed from latitude N 42°

Mercury 01 Mercury 07 Mercury 06 Mercury 08


Mercury has commenced its morning apparition following its inferior conjunction between Earth and Sun on 2014 OCT 16. This apparition is a good one for observers in the tropics or northern hemisphere.

   Mercury will appear in retrograde motion until OCT 25. It will be observed in dichotomy (50% illuminated like a Half Moon) on OCT 30. Before then it will appear as a crescent and afterward gibbous. By the standard of 30 minutes before sunrise, Mercury will attain its highest altitude of 11.7° for Chicagoland observers on NOV 01. Greatest Western Elongation of 18.7° will be reached on the same day. While increasing in brightness, it will fall to superior conjunction behind the Sun on DEC 08.

   Mercury will appear near Spica on NOV 04. The Moon will appear to pass near Mercury on OCT 22 & NOV 21.

NOTE: Event dates are for North American Central Time at those moments nearest to 30 minutes before sunrise for Chicagoland.

© Curt Renz

Mercury Angular Diameter - 2014-15

Graph of the apparent angular diameter of Mercury measured in arcseconds  -  Distance in AU = 6.68 / angular diameter

Mercury Illumination Phase - 2014-15

Graph of the percentage of Mercury’s apparent disk illuminated

Mercury Stellar Magnitude - 2014-15

Graph of the brightness of Mercury measured in stellar magnitude

Mercury 04

Transit of Mercury - 2016 MAY 09

Preview of the apparent path of Mercury across the Sun in horizontal (alt-az) coordinates as viewed from Chicago on 2016 MAY 09

Orion Telescopes..Superb Optics at a Great Price!!
Tran 08

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