On June 27, 2005, Venus and Mercury had their closest conjunction since 1990. Both planets could be seen in the same telescopic field of view, and were only about 0.08 degrees apart. In this image, Mercury appears on the left and Venus is on the right. At the time this image was taken, Venus was about 11 arc-seconds in size, and Mercury was slightly smaller at 6.8 arc-seconds. Mercury was closer to Earth than Venus, yet Venus appears larger due to its greater size relative to that of Mercury. Mercury is the smallest planet except for Pluto (assuming it is still appropriate to consider Pluto as a planet). Mercury has a diameter of 4,878 kilometers, and Venus has a diameter of 12,102 kilometers. Venus was a bright magnitude -3.8, and 91% illuminated. Mercury was a magnitude 0.0 point of light and had a phase of 60%.
This image was taken with a Canon EOS Digital Rebel camera at prime focus on a Takahashi FS-78 refractor with a 4x PowerMate at f32.
June 27, 2005
Image by Sid Leach
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