Al Bustan 


IC5146 - Cocoon
M5 - NGC5904
M8 - Lagoon Nebula
M16 - Eagle Nebula
M20 - Trifid
M27 - Dumbbell
M31 - Andromeda
M33 - Pinwheel
M42 - Orion
M45 - The Pleiades
M51 - Whirlpool
M57 - Ring
M63 - Sunflower
M64 - Black-Eye
M65 - NGC3623
M67 - NGC2682
M98 - NGC4192
M99 - Pinwheel
M100 - NGC4321
M101 - NGC5457
M104 - Sombrero
M105 - NGC3379
M106 - NGC4258
C/2004 Q2 - Machholz
NGC 891
NGC2024 - Flame
NGC2244 - Rosette
NGC6960 - Veil
The Mice - NGC4676






Mercury is the innermost planet of the Solar System. Except for that of the distant Pluto, mercury's elliptical orbit around the Sun is the most out-of-round of any of the planets in our Solar System (the difference between the maximum and minimum distances of mercury from the Sun is as much as 40 per cent of the average distance, compared with less than 4 per cent for the Earth. Its average distance from the Sun is 58 million kilometers, which is 4/10 of the Earth's average distance. Thus mercury is 0,4 A.U. from the Sun. It is also, except for Pluto, the least massive planet in our Solar System; it has only 5.1/2 per cent the mass of the Earth.

Mercury's rotation period around the Sun (solar rotation period) is 176 days, its sideral rotation period is 59 days and its period of revolution is 88 days. We know from Kepler's second law that Mercury travels around the Sun at different speeds in its eccentric orbit. This effect, coupled with mercury's slow rotation on its axis, would lead to tan interesting effect if we could stand on its surface. From some locations we would see the Sun rise for an Earth day or two, and then retreat below the horizon from which it had just come, when the speed of Mercury's revolution around the Sun dropped below the speed of mercury's rotation on its own axis. Later the Sun would rise again and then continue across the sky.



Observer´s Log


RA: 02h 38m 39.8s Dec: +12°38'05"
Heliocentric ecliptical coordinates:
l: 257°54'01.4" b: -03°27'57.9" r: 0,466695
Geometric geocentric ecliptical coordinates:
l: +41°14'39" b: -02°41'52" r: 0,599464
Mean geometric ecliptical coordinates:
l: +41°15'01" b: -02°41'50" r: 0,599417
True equatorial coordinates: RA: 02h 38m 40s Dec: +12°38'12"
Physical Data
Apparent angular diameter: 11,21



Mercury's transit across the Sun.

Equipment: LX200-12"-f/10 with Toucam Pro SC1.5

Date: 03/05/07

Image capture, alignment and stacking with K3CCDTools. Post-processing with Photoshop.




Animation GIF of Mercury's transit across the Sun (2.1MB file).

Equipment: LX200-12"-f/3.3 with Toucam Pro SC1.5

Date: 03/05/07

Video capture, alignement and stacking with K3CCDTools.

GIF animation with EasyGif.


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This site was last updated 2006-04-22                                                                                                          Site created and maintained by Jorge Lázaro