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Mercury as Springtime Morning Star

Panorama of the eastern sky with Mercury and the Moon as seen from Chicago 30 minutes before sunrise from 2019 MAR 19 to MAY 06 - See article below.

Mercury - Elongations & Altitudes - 2019

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

Mercury 02 Mercury 03 Mercury 04


Elusive Mercury is presenting its morning apparition in the eastern sky before sunrise following its inferior conjunction between Earth and Sun on 2019 MAR 15. This should be a poor apparition for most observers north of the tropics, but a fine one for almost everyone else.

   Mercury will resume apparent direct motion in right ascension on 2019 MAR 27. By the standard of 30 minutes before sunrise for Chicago, it will reach its highest altitude of 3.8° on APR 04. On 2019 APR 11 Mercury will attain its Greatest Western Elongation of 27.7°. Through a telescope on APR 13, it will be seen in dichotomy, i.e. 50% illuminated like a Half Moon. Prior to that Mercury will appear as a crescent and afterward gibbous. While increasing in brilliance, it will fall to inferior conjunction behind the Sun on MAY 21.

   Mercury will appear near Venus on 2019 APR 16.

   The Moon will appear near Mercury on 2019 APR 03 & MAY 03 without occultations.

NOTE: Event dates in this article are for North American Central Time at those moments nearest to 30 before sunrise for Chicago.

Mercury Angular Diameter - 2019

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

Mercury Illumination Phase - 2019

Graph of the percentage of Mercury’s apparent disk illuminated

Mercury Stellar Magnitude - 2019

Graph of the brightness of Mercury measured in stellar magnitude

Mercury 05


© Curt Renz

Mercury 01

Mercury Transits Sun - 2019 NOV 11

Previews of the apparent path of Mercury across the Sun Geocentric view and as seen from various cities

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