Mercury at Inferior Conjunction

orbital-positions   Thursday 19 June at 23 UT (6 pm CDT) the innermost planet Mercury reaches inferior conjunction. As the banner graphic at the top of the page shows, inferior conjunction of Mercury places Mercury between the Earth and the Sun – much like the position of the Moon at new phase. The graphic to the right shows the relative to the Earth and Sun position names for both inner planets and outer planets.

   The short video below, taken by the Mars Curiosity Rover, shows a transit of the Sun by Mercury as seen from the surface of Mars.

   
   
   
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.

Mars Transits the Sun

saturn-mars-heliocentric_conjunction   Yes there will be a transit of the Sun by Mars, however you would have to be on the planet Saturn to see this transit as this graphic shows. This astronomical event is known as a heliocentric conjunction. It is determined by measuring, along the ecliptic, the angle between the Earth’s vernal equinox longitude, 0o, and a planet as would be seen if you were on the Sun.
   The Mars – Saturn heliocentric conjunction is on Saturday, 14 June, at 18 UT (1 pm CDT).
   While the short video below, taken by the Mars Curiosity Rover, is not a transit of the Sun by Mars it does show a transit of the Sun by Mercury as seen from the surface of Mars.

   
   
   
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.