Sunday, 11 May 2014
Mercurial Rainbow Dancing
Helen and I made our way to Newgale, we arrived at about 10.00p.m.
After about five minutes of searching I spotted a tiny point of light over towards the North West that was without doubt the planet Mercury.
Out came the Schmidt telescope, and quickly to locate the planet I put in the20mm Erfle eyepiece (x100), followed by the higher magnifying 9mm Ortho eyepiece (x220).
What a lovely rainbow!!
Due to the low altitude of Mercury I wasn't able to see any hint of a planetary phase.
All I could see was a swirling mass of rainbow colours, plus a sea breeze was nudging the Schmidt slightly.
The result of the planets low altitude, plus the sea breeze left Mercury a dance of swirling colours.
At one point I thought I had caught a glimpse of the gibbous phase, but I reckon my brain was playing tricks.
Mercury is a difficult planet to view, maybe I'll have better luck in late October when it becomes a morning object.