EarthSky Facebook friend Marco Mereu captured this image of the planets Mercury and Mars in western twilight this past week. They are seen here over Monte Viso (or Monviso), the highest mountain of the Cottian Alps, located in Italy close to the French border. On the northern slopes of Monte Viso are the headwaters of the Po River.
In this past week, we received many photos of Mars and Mercury as seen from around the world. The two planets were closest on February 8, 2013, the day of their conjunction, when they shared the same right ascension on the sky’s dome (equivalent to longitude on Earth). At conjunction, these two worlds appeared only a fraction of one degree apart, less than the width of your little finger at an arm’s length.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded 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.