Sodium Tail of Mercury

This is NOT a comet, not even a meteor, but the planet Mercury, which is currently very close to the Pleiades. How is the tail formed? The solar wind and micro-meteorites eject sodium atoms from Mercury’s surface. This creates a yellow-orange tail of sodium gas that is around 2.5 million kilometers long. The images were only possible under best viewing conditions and in combination with a special 589 nm filter. In the following the fast development of the Mercury tail is shown.

Gear: 135mm f/2, FLI ML 8300, Sodium 589 nm filter, Star Adventurer

Music: Sebastian Voltmer /
Subtitles: Marina Samsonia / LichtenSTERN

Even moon and mercury show tails:


Details in Mercury’s tail captured for the first time

This deep chrono photo from April 27 to May 3, 2022 shows Mercury with its tail as it passed the Pleiades.