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BepiColombo Flyby

On April 9 2020, the Mercury probe BepiColombo will fly past the Earth. The Earth will provide a "gravity assist" and is the first of several flybys of the Earth, Venus and Mercury before it arrives in Mercury orbit in 2025. If you know where to look and live in the right part of the world, you will have a chance to see it through binoculars or a telescope. You can use the two general charts below and the following table to get an idea of whether you will be able to see it or not.

Click on a table row to load a finder chart corresponding to that time, or alternatively, you can go straight to a finder chart for a time near closest approach by clicking here.

Note: All times in the tables and charts are given in your local time, adjusted for daylight savings where appropriate.

Flyby data
Time of closest approachApr 9, 21:24:57
Distance of closest approach19,055 km
Speed at closest approach7.596 km/s
Speed at infinity (rel. to Earth)3.984 km/s

Position Table (click on a row of the table to load a finder chart)

Time Distance (km) Brightness Altitude Azimuth Right ascension Declination Constellation Sun altitude
Apr 9, 13:00:00148,01616.053.6°194.9°0h 25.7m11° 20'Pisces50.8°
Apr 9, 13:30:00140,06515.851.2°207.9°0h 22.0m11° 3'Pisces50.7°
Apr 9, 14:00:00132,16615.647.6°219.6°0h 17.9m10° 43'Pisces49.6°
Apr 9, 14:30:00124,31515.443.2°229.9°0h 13.3m10° 20'Pisces47.6°
Apr 9, 15:00:00116,50615.237.9°239.0°0h 8.2m9° 53'Pisces44.7°
Apr 9, 15:30:00108,73114.932.1°247.1°0h 2.6m9° 22'Pisces41.2°
Apr 9, 16:00:00100,98314.725.7°254.5°23h 56.2m8° 45'Pegasus37.2°
Apr 9, 16:30:0093,25114.419.0°261.3°23h 48.9m8° 1'Pisces32.8°
Apr 9, 17:00:0085,52714.111.8°267.9°23h 40.5m7° 8'Pisces28.2°
Apr 9, 17:30:0077,80113.84.3°274.5°23h 30.7m6° 3'Pisces23.3°
Apr 9, 18:00:0070,06813.4-3.8°281.2°23h 18.9m4° 43'Pisces18.3°
Apr 9, 18:30:0062,32713.1-12.4°288.5°23h 4.6m3° 1'Pisces13.2°
Apr 9, 19:00:0054,59412.6-21.7°296.9°22h 46.4m0° 47'Aquarius8.1°
Apr 9, 19:30:0046,91412.1-32.0°307.3°22h 22.4m-2° 15'Aquarius3.0°
Apr 9, 20:00:0039,39911.5-43.4°322.3°21h 48.9m-6° 30'Aquarius-2.0°
Apr 9, 20:30:0032,31810.9-55.0°348.7°20h 58.9m-12° 38'Aquarius-6.8°
Apr 9, 21:00:0026,29810.1-59.0°40.4°19h 38.7m-21° 11'Sagittarius-11.6°
Apr 9, 21:30:0022,6849.5-40.8°92.0°17h 30.0m-29° 45'Ophiuchus-16.0°
Apr 9, 22:00:0023,2879.3-11.8°122.9°14h 55.0m-30° 42'Centaurus-20.2°
Apr 9, 22:30:0028,056-10.6°146.1°13h 1.6m-24° 44'Hydra-24.0°
Apr 9, 23:00:0035,19010.123.1°166.5°11h 55.5m-18° 36'Crater-27.4°
Apr 9, 23:30:0043,38710.628.6°184.8°11h 15.8m-14° 4'Crater-30.2°
Apr 10, 00:00:0052,05311.129.7°200.8°10h 50.0m-10° 50'Sextans-32.4°
Apr 10, 00:30:0060,93111.528.1°214.5°10h 32.0m-8° 29'Sextans-33.9°
Apr 10, 01:00:0069,90511.825.0°226.1°10h 18.8m-6° 43'Sextans-34.7°
Apr 10, 01:30:0078,91412.120.8°236.1°10h 8.9m-5° 21'Sextans-34.6°
Apr 10, 02:00:0087,92612.316.1°244.7°10h 1.1m-4° 15'Sextans-33.7°
Apr 10, 02:30:0096,92112.511.1°252.5°9h 54.9m-3° 21'Sextans-32.1°
Apr 10, 03:00:00105,88512.75.8°259.7°9h 50.0m-2° 37'Sextans-29.8°
Apr 10, 03:30:00114,80512.90.5°266.4°9h 45.9m-1° 59'Sextans-26.9°
Apr 10, 04:00:00123,67313.1-4.8°272.9°9h 42.6m-1° 27'Sextans-23.4°
Apr 10, 04:30:00132,48013.3-10.0°279.3°9h 39.8m-1° 0'Hydra-19.6°
Apr 10, 05:00:00141,21913.4-15.1°285.7°9h 37.5m-0° 36'Hydra-15.3°
 

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