Mercury at Descending Node

click on graphic to see it larger   Two or three times each month I post information about the location of our Moon as it crosses the ecliptic, the Earth’s orbital path around the Sun. And recently I posted about Mars crossing the ecliptic. These are known as nodes and there is an ascending node and a descending node representing the location where the Moon crosses the ecliptic moving north or south.

   The ecliptic is used as the reference for all solar orbiting objects and with regard to the planets each of them is tilted or inclined from the ecliptic. So each planet, like our Moon, has an ascending and descending node.

   On Friday December 5th the planet Mercury crosses the ecliptic moving south, it’s descending node. Mercury is too close to the direction of the Sun and will not be visible until it reappears in the evening skies later this month.

   Click here to learn a little more about the ecliptic. This was a previous post from December 2019, but it still illustrates the ecliptic and the planets respective orbits relative to the ecliptic.

   This table shows the inclination of planets relative to the ecliptic as well as the Sun’s equator extended outward.


Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.

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