Feb 1, 2003

I got a correction about my Mercury retrograde post from my good friend Julie. Here's what she had to say:

"Just a note about ME Rx in your blog – planets are closer to Earth when they are retrograde. The outers (Mars [on] out) need to be 120 degrees or more ahead/[after] the sun to be retrograde, otherwise they are direct. Makes oppositions more interesting, I suppose – any planet has to be retrograde to be at opposition. (Which leaves out Mercury and Venus, funny thing!)

"Mercury and Venus are, of course, the exceptions. But I take exception (!) to your assertion that Venus is retrograde 3 [times] a year, I don't think that's the case. I can remember only one Venus Rx in the past 3 years, and from a cursory look at my planetarium software, it isn't Rx for this whole calendar year..."

She's right. Venus was retrograde (Rx) only once last year (October/November) and not at all this year.

Since what Julie says may be difficult to visualize, I found another web page that illustrates the retrograde motion.