Photo of the Week for March 23, 2018
In mid-March, the innermost planet, Mercury, was at its best for 2018. That’s when the swift little world shone brightly and hovered (relatively) high above the western horizon at dusk. On the evening of March 18, Mercury was part of a particularly attractive gathering that also included Venus and a thin crescent Moon, the three objects forming a slanted, evenly-spaced line.
The scene was captured in the beautifully composed image above, by Luc Bellavance of Rimouski, Quebec. Even at its best, Mercury can be elusive and tricky to recognize. In Luc’s photo, the planet is the star-like point of light near the top of the frame, above and to the right of much brighter Venus. In the foreground, chunks of ice float in the Saint Lawrence River.
Luc used a Canon EOS 450D DSLR camera and 50mm lens (at f/3.8) for this single, 1/6-second exposure at ISO 800.