Courtesy of Jeffrey Beall
Mercury and Venus: As Seen by You
Astronomers announced about a week ago that tiny Mercury would be easier to spot because it had lined up closer to bright Venus, and would remain there until around April 10, 2010. So we reached out to our readers and asked them to share their photos of the cosmic phenomenon with us. We received submissions from all over the world and here we showcase our favorites. Jeffrey Beall snapped this photo of Mercury and Venus hanging out above the clouds (upper left hand corner) over downtown Denver on April 3, 2010. Beall commented, "the mountains are the Rocky Mountains, and this time of year with strong west winds they create lots of mountain wave clouds. I had a short time window to shoot the picture between twilight and the moment at which the planets slipped behind the clouds."
Courtesy of Adrian West
Great Shefford, West Berkshire, England
The view of the planets is so clear against a gorgeous purple and pink cloud backdrop in this photo by Adrian West. Looking out across the English countryside in West Berkshire, Mercury (right) and Venus (left) are brilliantly visable dead ahead. West commented that he used a Kodak DX7630 semi compact camera on a tripod to capture this shot on April 8, 2010.
Courtesy of Marko Posavec
Using an Olympus E-150, and 3.2- and 4-second exposure, Marko Posavec captured this photo of the planets brightly light against the evening sky on April 7, 2010. Posavec commented, "Venus and Mercury shining above remains of a medieval fortress in Koprivnica, Croatia...The tower is not a real one, just a wooden model."
Courtesy of Daniel Fischer
It looked like a quiet night in Bochum, Germany on April 5, 2010, when Daniel Fischer snapped this photo. Fischer commented, "When the pair reappeared in another hole in the horizon-hugging clouds, a 15-sec exposure helped... 'nice' cloud colors, courtesy of Bochum's light pollution."
Courtesy of Todd Barrow
Todd Barrow commented on his photo, "Venus and Mercury watching over Blount Island Marine Terminal in Jacksonville, Fla." Despite all the bright lights coming from the harbor, Barrow captured the tiny lights in the sky that can be easily picked out as the two planets.
Courtesy of Louis Suarato
This tiny town outside of Albany hosted a perfect sunset setting for Mercury and Venus to put on a show. Louis Suarato sent us this photo of the planets over Knox, N.Y.
Courtesy of Tavi Greiner
Wilmington Coastal Area, N.C.
What a better place to enjoy the night sky than near the coast. Tavi Greiner of North Carolina sent us a bunch of different shots of the planets at twilight. This one was taken on April 7, 2010. Greiner commented, "the later it is, the brighter they get."
Courtesy of Luke Carter
Daytona Beach, Fla.
You can't beat the soothing sound of waves while searching for planets at twilight. Taken with a Nikon D60, Luke Carter snapped this photo of Mercury (right) and Venus (left) on April 4, 2010. Despite the lights on the surrounding trees, the two planets are clearly visible in the center.
Courtesy of Luke Carter
Elbert County, Ga. Another one sent to us by Luke Carter, this April 6 photo shows Mercury and Venus low on the horizon next to the Georgia Guide Stones, a large granite monument in Elbert County, Ga. Located on one of the highest hilltops in Elbert County, the giant stones are often referred to as the American Stonehenge.
Courtesy of Stefano De Rosa
Stefano De Rosa snapped this photo on the evening of April 4, 2010. You can faintly see Venus (left) and Mercury (right) in the upper right hand corner of the photo. De Rosa commented, "soon after sunset I arrived at the panoramic terrace of the Mont Baron hill that offered a privileged point of view to capture the close encounter between Venus and Mercury (separated by just 3 degrees). The beautiful celestial pair, shining in the western twilight, is visible on the right of the picture over the silhouette of the French Maritime Alps, while the remaining portion of the image is dominated by the wonderful "Bay of Angels" of Nice, the capital of the Cote d'Azur region in the southern France on the Mediterranean cost: what a sight!!!" We couldn't agree more. Thank you, readers, for all your contributions.