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

   The Moon will appear to pass near Mercury on 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

Tran 08