The Messenger above Danube

By: Babak A. Tafreshi


Region: Europe

Site: Linz - Austria

Date: 2011 March 22

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In this enchanting evening twilight over Danube river in Linz, Austria, planet Mercury shines in the fading glow of dusk. Click on the star-pattern icon above the image to see a closer view of Mercury over Danube. Mercury was the Roman god of commerce and the messenger of the gods. Mercury is the first planet from the sun and it’s always close to the sun in our skies. Therefore it's normally lost in the glare of the Sun, except for the dates near its longest elongation when it is briefly visible in morning or evening twilight. The foreground is a picturesque part of Linz. Astronomer and mathematician Johannes Kepler worked in this historic city for several years. In 1620 he observed a lunar eclipse from Pöstlingberg church which is visible in this picture (at right) on top of a 540-meter mountain overlooking Danube and the city. Babak Tafreshi/

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