Mercury, Venus and M-35

Click on graphic to see it full size.

Click on graphic to see it full size.

   Early Tuesday (15 July) morning before the Sun rises there may be an opportunity to see the two inner planets Venus and Mercury both of which are within 7o from the open star cluster M-35. You can fit the three within the field of view of 7×50 binoculars.
15july-bino   To find them look toward the eastern horizon and locate the very brilliant Venus (-4.0 magnitude) about 10-15 degrees above the horizon. This is not very high above the horizon, about a fist-width held at arm’s length, but Venus is unmistakable. Finding Mercury (0.04 magnitude) may be an issue depending on the time you are doing this and of course your local horizon.
   So, if you have binoculars hold them as this graphic shows – with Venus at the upper right at around 2 on a clock. Mercury will be at the 6 o’clock position near the bottom of the binocular field of view. Keeping the analog clock analogy going the open star cluster M-35 (5.5 magnitude) will be at the 8 o’clock position.

Caution: Objects viewed with an optical aid are further than they appear.
   Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.

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