Sunday, 11 April 2010

Venus and Mercury

Just had a pleasant week away at Blakeney in Norfolk, during which I managed to shoot this picture on Thursday night of Venus and Mercury in conjunction at sunset (7.30pm, looking west). Click on the picture above for a full-size version.

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  1. Is Venus and Mercury in conjunction quite a rare event?

  2. Stuart, thanks for asking. In looking for a reply, I found this:

    "Interestingly, this is not a conjunction between these two least in the "official" sense. At no time do Mercury and Venus have the same right ascension or ecliptic longitude.

    But the famed Belgian calculator, Jean Meeus calls this a "quasi-conjunction" (when two objects coming to less than 5 degrees apart without having a true conjunction). In the "2010 Astronomical Calendar," Fred Schaaf notes that this is the "first quasi-conjunction of bright planets since 2006 and it lasts a number of days.""