Ken Christison posted this photo to EarthSky Facebook. He wrote:
l was thrilled to see that I caught Mercury, Aldebaran and the Pleiades in a frame this morning, despite not seeing any of them with the naked eye or through the viewfinder.
Another great example of the advantages of shooting RAW.
Thank you, Ken!
Mercury is the innermost planet in our solar system, and it’s often obscured by the sun’s glare or – as might be the case in Ken’s photo – any haziness low in the sky. You do have a chance to see Mercury with the eye alone before dawn in the coming week – first week of July 2015 – and you might catch the nearby star Aldebaran in the constellation Taurus the Bull, too.
The Southern Hemisphere has the advantage for viewing this particular apparition of Mercury (and also Aldebaran) in the morning sky.
No matter where you live, it’ll be to your advantage to find an unobstructed horizon in the direction of sunrise. Binoculars will come in handy as well – especially at more northerly latitudes.
As the days pass during July, Aldebaran will be rising higher in the eastern sky before dawn, but Mercury will be sinking toward the sunrise glare. By the time the waning crescent moon sweeps through – on the mornings of July 12, 13 and 14 – Mercury will be difficult if not impossible to see.
Bottom line: A photo by Ken Christison of the sun’s innermost planet, Mercury, before dawn on June 30, 2015. How to see Mercury around now, in the east before dawn.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.