Zooming In on Mercury

Although the planet Mercury can be as bright as Saturn, few people have knowingly seen it, since it never gets farther than 28° from the Sun and is best seen only for a short period before sunrise or after sunset. On 2022-05-05, Polish amateur astronomer “Mr SuperMole” used a Nikon Coolpix P1000 “super zoom” camera to zoom in on the planet, showing its crescent phase through the turbulent twilight air.

Here is more about observing Mercury in my 1999 article “The Three Inner Planets”, which links to my Mercury Chaser’s Calculator that shows favourable observing opportunities (“Greatest Elongations”) of Mercury for any year. You can explore Mercury via spacecraft imagery at Fourmilab’s Solar System Explorer.