Mercury in the Morning

I rose early this morning.  I had to get out of the house to meet a group of students.  We are taking a trip down to the Rutland area to visit some colleges.  I had to get up in the dark.  This morning, that worked out well.

For the next few days, Mercury rises on the eastern horizon just before sunrise.  At 6:30 I could see it glowing just above the pale horizon.  It was the only celestial body I could see, with the exception of one star, just above it.  By 6:45 the sky was too bright for me to see it.  It is a fleeting planet, like the god after which it is named.

I have not seen Mercury much in my life, although I have tried to see it many times.  Seeing Mercury is one of those things to pursue throughout a lifetime, so I know I will have many chances to see it again.  I have thought for a long time of investing in a telescope, one powerful enough to the see the moons of Saturn.  One of these days I will splurge on that.

Perhaps tomorrow I will rise early enough again to spy the other red planet.  If I am lucky the clouds will have drifted off.  If I do not see it again, I will have a few days left to do so, and I am sure I will see other small wonders in any case.  That is the deal with rising early–there is always something wonderful to see.

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