Venus and Mercury After Sunset, release 2

Venus, Mercury and Meteor - 10 January 2015
Venus, Mercury and Meteor – 10 January 2015
Venus, Mercury - 10 January 2015
Venus, Mercury – 10 January 2015

Object Name (Venus and Mercury)
Object Type (Plante conjunction and meteor)
Location (Artignosc-sur-Verdon France)
Date (Jan 10th 2015)
Media (watercolor, white paper, inverted after scan)

January the 10th the two inner planets of our solar system are very close. Following the nice pastel sketch made by Frank Jan 6th (ASOD Feb 2nd) I will take the opportunity to compare its view with this I made 4 days later.
While my watercolor session, a probable Quadrantide meteor produce a brilliant flash.

The two planets are easily seen in the field of my UWA EP.

Clear sky to you all !

Michel Deconinck

Planetary Alignment – Mercury, Venus, Mars

Mercury, Venus, Mars - 9 January 2015
Mercury, Venus, Mars – 9 January 2015

Object Name: Mercury, Venus and Mars

Object Type: Planet

Date: 1/9/2015

Location: A Coruña, Galicia. Spain.

Media: drawing on picture, edited and enhanced with Gimp

Nikon binoculars 15×70 IF HP

SeeIng: 2/5. Some clouds

This drawing shows the planetary alignment in these days. As the picture taken with the phone was very bad, I decided to draw a picture that showed the beauty of the image.
The brightness of Venus is seen against the weaker yellow Mercury. The red glow of Mars came a bit latter and sharing view with it, the star Iota Aquarii showed its pale white light.

Venus and Mercury in Same FOV

Venus & Mercury - 10 January 2015
Venus & Mercury – 10 January 2015

I observed Venus & Mercury together in the same FOV on January 10, 2015 from 14:30 to 16:00 hr MST here in Tucson, Arizona USA with a Celestron Nexstar 11 f10 GPS stopped down to 4.5″, a 2″ diagonal and a 2″ University Optics 32mm Ultra Wide eyepiece (AFOV 80 deg). The field of view was 0.95 and Venus & Mercury fit into the same FOV comfortably. Venus was a bright, white, full orb and Mercury appeared as a very small disk with a pinkish – white color. It appeared that 3 Mercurys could fit across the disk of Venus. Seeing was very good around 3:15 PM so centered on Mercury and increased the power to 259X using a Meade Ultra Wide 8.8mm AFO 84 deg eyepiece. Mercury showed a nice quarter phase with a nice pale pink disk; moving over to Venus and the full phase, white disk showed very well. The color sketch was done using application to record the observation.

Conjunction of Venus and Mercury – 18 January 2015

Conjunction of Venus and Mercury - 18 January 2015
Conjunction of Venus and Mercury – 18 January 2015

Living in Eastbourne, I am lucky enough to have the famous cliffs at the end of the South Downs close by; the panoramic views they afford are ideal for watching sunrises and sunsets, which are frequently rendered even more beautiful by dramatic coastal clouds. On Sunday 18th January I was driving back from a visit to the beach further east at Normans Bay, when I noticed a break opening up in the blanket of cloud to the west. Instead of heading home I made the short detour up to Beachy Head, where I was treated to this wonderfully picturesque celestial scene.

Best regards and clear skies, Oli

18/01/15 18:45 UT
Soft pastels on Rembrandt pastel paper with acrylic paint for Venus

Great elongation of Mercury 2014

The Great Elongation of Mercury - May and June 2014
The Great Elongation of Mercury – May and June 2014

In the spring of 2014 we observed a super elongation of Mercury; high brightness and large apparent diameter.
I followed up the Mercury from 9. May to the fifth day of June. I got a great experience and a wealth of experience.
I managed to identify a lot of formation on the surface of Mercury, despite I used a small telescope. I hope you enjoy this little compilation! 🙂


Observer: Viktor Cseh
Location: Nagyvarsány/Hungary (Central Europe)

Equipment used: 100/1000 achromatic refractor
Ocular: 4mm Kasai Magellan ortho
Magnification: 250X
Filters: W80A blue, W21 orange and W12 yellow

Drawing instruments: graphite pencils, white observing form.

Clear Skies!

Viktor 🙂

Early Planets

Mercury, Venus, alpha Libra, Saturn and Spica
Mercury, Venus, alpha Libra, Saturn and Spica

Please find here my last watercolour

Object Name (Mercury, Venus and Saturn)
Object Type (Planets conjunction)
Location (Rocbaron Provence France)
Date (December 5th 2012 5:55 UT)
Media (Watercolour on 300gr paper plus white colour for planets)

It was quite cold this morning 1°C but I would like to see the rising of Mercury from my terrace.
Bottom-up we can see: Mercury near the chimney, Venus near alpha Libra, Saturn and Spica .

Clear sky to you all, and if possible, with warmer atmosphere !

Michel Deconinck

Conjunction of Mercury and Venus

Mercury and Venus Conjunction - June 20, 2013
Mercury and Venus Conjunction – June 20, 2013

Hello sketchers

Here my last observation of Mercury and Venus

Object Name (Mercury and Venus)
Object Type (Planet conjunction)
Location (Val d’Issole)
Date (June 20th 2013)
Media (Watercolour for the landscape and graphite pencil for the planets)

During this very “non cloudy” evening with a perfect transparency, I observed this planet conjunction from my own terrace. I use a 10×50 binocular to find Mercury as early as possible, then with my 102/1000 refractor I begin to sketch this planet that I see with a pale orange light, until masking by the horizon. Some time after, I sketched Venus, with a more blue light. The EP I used was a 40mm to find the planets and then a 10mm SWA to sketch.

What is uncommon here is the apparent diameter of both planets, they looks very similar in size but with very different colours. In fact, Mercury was close to us, nearly between the sun and the earth, and Venus was far further our star.

Michel –

Michel Deconinck

Mars and Mercury

Conjunction of Mars and Mercury
Conjunction of Mars and Mercury

Here join my last watercolour

Object Name (Mars and Mercury)
Object Type (Planet conjunction)
Location (Sainte-Anastasie-sur-Issole, Provence, France)
Date (08-02-2013)
Media (watercolour)

This February 8th between 17h and 18h (UT) I wanted to watch an unusual planets conjunction and set, Mars and Mercury separated by only 15 ‘. This could be seen through the long and wide belt of Venus. I found a peak of 360° free to obstacles – 500 meter altitude. North we see clearly two winter sports resorts and South the Porquerolles Island and its lighthouse – 2 x 10 sec, so… the “M” morse letter, to celebrate our two planets M.. ?
It was cold with a strong wind, I still observed one hour. Some pictures with my little camera and two quick sketches, a complete landscape and an eyepiece vision, in order to be ready to make a watercolour, the day after.
Mercury was bright, clearly visible with a white light. Mars was 8 times less light but very red. No details with my reflector 100/500, plus an eyepiece K12mm. We can just imagine the disc-shaped appearance of the two planets. Mercury was gibbous almost full and very close the tiny and still red planet.

Clear sky to you all !

Michel Deconinck

Early Planets

Conjunction of Mercury, Venus and the Moon
Conjunction of Mercury, Venus and the Moon

Please find here my (this morning) watercolour

Object Name (Mercury, Venus and the Moon)
Object Type (conjunction)
Location (Rocbaron Provence France)
Date (December 11th 2012 6:00 UT)
Media (Watercolour on 300gr paper plus white colour for planets)

It was quite cold this morning -1°C plus Mistral (north local wind)… but I would like to see again the rising of Mercury from my terrace.

Bottom-up we can see: Mercury near the chimney and Venus close to the Moon.

The watercolour was done on the spot, taking off the pigment for the planets with a brush when the paper was not yet dry. I add some hot coloration to the dark part of the very old Moon. Then I scanned the picture.

Clear sky to you all !

Michel Deconinck

Mercury Transit – 1970

Mercury Transit
Mercury Transit

Hey Artists!

As the time of the “last” transit of Venus is perhaps ended, I would like to show all an old
but spectacular observation of a transit of Mercury I made in 1970.
My sketch shows not only a solartransit, but the planet also passed over a close bipolar
It was interesting to observ the absolute black Mercury with the umbra in the spots.
The umbra was easy seen brighter. My info on sketch is in norwegian!
This was a lucky observation, indeed!!
Location : Trondheim, Norway.
I used pen and pencil on this original sketch.

Thanks for nice comments on my sketches!!
Have a clear sky and nice time to all!

Per-Jonny Bremseth.

A Little Planet

Mercury - March 5, 2012
Mercury - March 5, 2012

It was a next day with the clear sky above us. It was also a good time to look at Mercury. It is able to observe only if the seeing is excellent and the planet is at a suitable distance from Sun, so I was quite happy when I had seen its phase.

Object Name: Mercury
Object Type: planet
Location: Płaza, Poland
Date: 05.03.2012
Media: graphite pencil, white paper, inverted in Photoshop CS2

Mercury in the Evening, Near Eastern Elongation

I was able to observe Mercury on March 19, 2011 (00:00 U.T.) over the western horizon (~23.5*) using my friend’s excellent Meade 8-inch (20-cm) F/10 ACF SCT at 120x. I was impressed with the fact that albedo features were visible over the planet while using an aperture down to 4 inches (10 cm) at a friend’s observatory. The seeing over the western horizon at sunset (twilight) was very erratic but while airing for moments of steady seeing I was rewarded by the features noted below.

Date (U.T.): March 19, 2011
Time (U.T.): 00:00
CM 77.8*W, Ls 128.5*, De -5.3*, Ds 0.1*
-0.7m, p 60%, 6.7″
Instrument: Meade 8-inch (20-cm) F/10 ACF SCT
Magnification: 120x
Filters: None (IL)
Seeing (1-10): 4-6, Antoniadi (I-V): III-IV

A digital image produced in Photoshop CS5.

Carlos E. Hernandez

Mercury in Broad Daylight

Mercury in Broad Daylight

Daytime observation of Mercury
Sketch and Details by Carlos E. Hernandez

Daytime Observation of Mercury

I was able to make a daytime observation of Mercury on August 22, 2009 (20:00 U.T.) using an 8-inch (20-cm) F/15 Maksutov-Cassegrain (286x). I was with a friend and suggested that we try hunting Mercury down in the daytime sky. There was a thin haze in the daytime sky so we thought that we may not be able to see it. We first centered his instrument (fitted with a solar filter) on the Sun then offset it by approximately two hours in right ascension (RA) and Mercury was in the field. Mercury was visible at a quarter phase (55%) and albedo features were noted over the illuminated disk.

My observation reminded me of the historic observations made by Antoniadi and Schiaparelli over the end of the nineteenth century and early twentieth century. These classic astronomers made their observations of Mercury in the daytime as observing this planet is difficult in a darkened sky as it is never more than 28 degrees from the Sun. Schiaparelli and Antoniadi erroneously believed that the rotation period of Mercury was 88 days (instead of 58.6 days) and therefore locked in with it’s revolution period. It was not until 1965 when the radio telescope discovered the true rotation period.

A digital image produced in Photoshop CS3.


Carlos E. Hernandez

Crescent Moon and Planet Gathering


Crescent Moon and Planet Gathering
Sketch and Details by Carlos E. Hernandez

I was fortunate to have witnessed the grouping of the Moon, Mercury, and Jupiter again on December 29, 2008 (23:15 U.T.) with the addition of Venus. The Waxing Crescent Moon was now above the pair of Mercury and Jupiter. Mercury (-0.75m) was approximately 7.5 degrees above the western horizon, Jupiter (-1.51m) ~10 degrees, the Moon ~15 degrees, and Venus (-4.25m) ~33 degrees. Earthshine was easily visible over the unilluminated portion of the Moon. This grouping was very striking against a pastel blue sky with lavender clouds below over the western horizon.

A digital image produced using Gimp.

Messenger’s Focus


Sketch and Details by Carl Roussell

Name: Mercury
Type: Planet
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Date: Sep 18,2008
Medie: graphite pencils om plain paper
Telescope15cm f/8 refractor, 300x,
Filters: W21 and W23A

Note: Trying to find and name features on Mercury is challenging and will let you feel like to astronomers of the past. The light patch on the is in the right place to Apollonia, and the two dark patches Solotudo Argiphontae (north) and Tricerna (south)

A Freckle on the Sun

Mercury-Solar Transit

Mercury-Solar Transit
Sketch and Commentary by Jeremy Perez
Move cursor over sketch to see labels.

On Wednesday, November 8th, 2006, Mercury was due for a solar transit. Now, in my neck of the woods, that just happens to be a work day. So I planned to set up the scope during lunch in the parking lot, or outside the lunchroom. The only thing I needed was a solar filter. A couple years ago, a very kind and generous amateur astronomer from Phoenix, Scott Kroeppler, sent me a couple small Baader solar film samples. Other than some casual, unmagnified looks at the sun, I hadn’t put them to good use. Until now. I stayed up the night before, rigging these two 1-inch square pieces of solar film and a sewing hoop to an 8 inch square piece of foam core. I wasn’t sure if it would work, but the next morning, I pulled into the parking lot at work, put my mangy, home-made solar cap on the front, and got a handheld look at the sun for the first time through my own scope. Not only did it work great, but I was pleasantly surprised to see a huge sun spot easing over the solar limb.

So I got to work, and then about 15 minutes before the beginning of the transit, I put it all together on the patio outside the lunch room where I had the best opening between all the trees. I didn’t start quite early enough, because by the time I got everything set up and the solar cap taped on securely, Mercury was already well inside the solar disc. It looked just like a printed period against blue-white filtered circle of the sun. It had entered just south of the massive sunspot I noticed earlier. A couple fainter sunspots rested on the opposite side. At that point, I made my first solar sketch, and noted how easy it would be to really exaggerate distances and proportions across the sun’s face. I was excited to see that light, textured, filamentary features were visible around the sunspots. As I studied these features, I noticed that it didn’t take long for Mercury’s motion to become apparent.

Over the next 45 minutes, I invited passing coworkers to have a look. They all seemed happy to get a look at the transit, particularly after reading about it in the newspaper the day before. As folks walked up to the eyepiece, I tried to coach them a bit with the sketch to be sure they didn’t confuse the sunspot for Mercury. Quite a few commented on how very tiny the little planet appeared. Several of them were even able to make out the two relatively faint sunspots over on the western limb as well. After a little more than an hour, I moved the scope to an out-of-the-way spot, and went back to work.

At about 20 minutes before the end of the transit, I raced outside to find that the sun was completely hidden behind trees where I had the scope set up. With a bit of scouting, I moved the whole thing into the parking lot about a hundred yards to the north where I had a clear vantage. And here I got to watch that perfect little dot edge closer to the western edge of the sun. At about four Mercury diameters from the edge, the whole shebang began to sink behind a tree-lined ridge a mile to the west. So I missed seeing Mercury merge with and disappear into the darkness on the other side of the sun. It was still a fascinating event to witness, and since Mercury won’t do this again until 2016, I’m glad I was able to fit it in.

The sketch at the top of this post was overlayed onto a digitally generated disc with limb darkening that estimates what I saw through the eyepiece. The next time I sketch the sun this way, I’m sure I’ll want to include the lighter features, which will mean generating that limb darkening manually and erasing through it.

Subject Mercury – Solar Transit
Classification Planetary/Solar
Date/Time November 8, 2006, 12:33 – 04:54 PM MST (November 8, 2006, 07:33 – 11:54 UT)
Observing Loc. Flagstaff, AZ
Instrument Orion SVP 6LT Reflector (150 mm dia./1200 mm F/L)
Eyepieces/Mag. 25 mm (48X)
Conditions Clear, breezy
Seeing Ant. IV