Picture of the Moment...

Venus and the Moon point the way to Mercury, 15 April 2010

In early to mid April 2010 the innermost planet Mercury put in an appearance in the evening sky, and had the much brighter Venus near by as a pointer. On the 15th and 16th they were joined by a thin crescent Moon, making a pleasing sight, helped by a spell of bright though cool weather in the UK.

Click here for a series of pictures taken on different days, which show the movement of Mercury relative to Venus and also its diminishing brightness as it swings around the sun and presents more of its dark side towards us.

The stratosphere as in fact polluted with volcanic ash being carried southwards from an erupting Icelandic volcano - Eyafjallajokull, though there is no trace of it in these photos. The sunsets were pleasant but not spectacular.

Venus, Mercury & the Moon on 16 Apr 2010

Venus, Mercury and an extremely slender 1 day old crescent Moon low in the north-west on the evening of 16 April 2010.

In another two minutes the Moon began to set behind the North Downs, a range of chalk hills beyond which lies London.


Picture added on 6 May 2010

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