Mercury at aphelion

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Inner Planets feed

Objects: Mercury
Please wait
Loading 0/4
Click and drag to rotate
Mouse wheel to zoom in/out
Touch with mouse to dismiss
The sky at

Mercury's 88-day orbit around the Sun will carry it to its furthest point to the Sun – its aphelion – at a distance of 0.47 AU.

Unlike most of the planets, which follow almost exactly circular orbits around the Sun only varying in their distance from the Sun by a few percent, Mercury has a significantly elliptical orbit.

Its distance from the Sun varies between 0.307 AU at perihelion (closest approach to the Sun), and 0.467 AU at aphelion (furthest recess from the Sun). This variation, of over 50%, means that its surface receives over twice as much energy from the Sun at perihelion as compared to aphelion.

However, this makes little difference to Mercury's telescopic appearance, since little if any detail on its surface can be resolved by ground-based telescopes. Although its changing seasons have an incredible effect upon its surface temperatures, there is little change that is visible to amateur observers.

The position of Mercury at the moment it passes aphelion will be:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Angular Size
Mercury 03h42m10s 16°46'N Taurus 11.9"
Sun 04h17m 21°21'N Taurus 31'34"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

From San Diego, Mercury will not be readily observable since it will be very close to the Sun, at a separation of only 9° from it.

Begin typing the name of a town near to you, and then select the town from the list of options which appear below.

The sky on 27 May 2022

The sky on 27 May 2022
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

27-day old moon
Waning Crescent


27 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:22 12:09 18:57
Venus 03:50 10:17 16:43
Moon 04:02 10:42 17:29
Mars 02:36 08:37 14:37
Jupiter 02:37 08:39 14:42
Saturn 00:53 06:18 11:43
All times shown in PDT.


Never attempt to point a pair of binoculars or a telescope at an object close to the Sun. Doing so may result in immediate and permanent blindness.


The circumstances of this event were computed using the DE430 planetary ephemeris published by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

This event was automatically generated by searching the ephemeris for planetary alignments which are of interest to amateur astronomers, and the text above was generated based on an estimate of your location.

Related news

29 Apr 2022  –  Mercury at greatest elongation east
16 Jun 2022  –  Mercury at greatest elongation west
22 Jun 2022  –  Mercury at highest altitude in morning sky
17 Aug 2022  –  Mercury at highest altitude in evening sky

Image credit



San Diego



Color scheme