Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun. It is a small planet, not much larger than the Earth's moon.  Because Mercury is so close to the Sun, its surface is very hot. The surface temperature can reach 770 degrees Fahrenheit. Mercury has no atmosphere, or air, and does not support life.  The surface of Mercury is covered with craters, and looks much like the Earth's moon.  It is a rare case in the life of an amateur astronomer that a chance to glimpse this planet is had with a telescope.  Mercury spends most of its time too close to the sun to be viewed western horizon.  I hurriedly open the roof to the observatory and snapped these two images.  My only attempt at imaging or seeing Mercury in my lifetime thus far.  Too low on 
the horizon to get a decent image, but here they are non the less.

Mercury - 3/29/2004

Image Capture Details

Optics:  Meade LX200 GPS14
Mount: Meade
Camera: Meade LPI
Filters: None
Time: 6 :15PM EST
Location: Waldwick, NJ