Mercury at Ascending Node


Friday April 1st the innermost planet Mercury crosses the plane of the ecliptic, Earth’s orbit, moving north in what is called the ascending node. The orbit of Mercury is inclined about 7o from the the ecliptic setting up both an ascending node as well as an descending node approximately one-half orbit later.
In one-half of an orbit from now Mercury will be at descending node which will coincide with Mercury at inferior conjunction. This will set up a transit of the Sun by Mercury on May 9th.

 

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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