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The Urban Astronomer

Cosmic Juxtaposition: Pleiades, Mercury and Moon

25 Apr 2009, 13:49 UTC
Cosmic Juxtaposition: Pleiades, Mercury and Moon
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The next three evenings present a visually stimulating lineup of objects near and far in a juxtaposition that is just right for binoculars. You will need a clear western horizon so I have my fingers crossed that conditions permit this at Ocean Beach in San Francisco, but wherever you are, the diagram shows the close alignment of Mercury and the Pleiades star cluster and the daily motion of the Moon through this configuration. On Saturday 25th the challenge will be to spot the very young Moon. On Sunday 26th the sight of all three things in one binocular-field-of-view. And if you get a weather trifecta and see this three nights in a row, then Monday 27th you will have seen just how far the Moon *and* Mercury move in 48 hours - and I think the results will surprise you.Happy Viewing!

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