Mercury Retrograde 2023 – When is Mercury Retrograde?

Some people want to blame Mercury's reversal on bad days, but here we present the scientific explanation for the phenomenon, and here you will also find out when it happens.

Some people want to blame Mercury’s reversal on bad days, but here we present the scientific explanation for the phenomenon, and here you will also find out when it happens.

Space – Mercury

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Mercury retrograde 2023

People don’t seem to understand you today and the smallest bumps in your road turn into insurmountable mountains.


Astrology says the reason is that seen from Earth, Mercury reverses its path around the Sun.


This phenomenon is quite common and has been called Mercury’s retrograde. There is now a reversal that started on April 21st until May 14th.


The last retrograde of Mercury lasted from December 12, 2022 to January 17, 2023.


But why does the innermost planet seem to reverse – and can it really be true that Mercury’s reversal affects life on Earth?

Mercury overtakes Earth

In fact, Mercury remains steadfastly on course, even though it appears to us to be retrograde.


This is actually a kind of illusion and is a natural result of the planets revolving around the sun at different distances and at different speeds, but in the same direction.

When is Mercury retrograde?

You can mark the dates on a calendar to track Mercury’s retrograde.

  • April 21 to May 14, 2023.
  • August 23 to September 15, 2023.
  • December 13 to January 1, 2024.

Mercury’s journey around the sun takes 87.97 days, while Earth needs 365.26. Therefore, Mercury transits about four times a year.

All the planets revolve counterclockwise around the Sun, but for three weeks at nearly four-month intervals, Mercury appears to rotate clockwise.

Three things are most important to understand this reversal of Mercury:

  • The position of the earth
  • Position of Mercury
  • The backdrop – the sky

The illusion is caused by the fact that we see Mercury in the foreground of the stars in the sky, but because of the immense size of space, they appear as fixed points in the night sky.

Mercury’s cycle tricks the eyes – and the astrologers

When Mercury is in retrograde, it appears to go backwards, which astrologers say is a bad omen. However, the phenomenon is a kind of illusion caused by the fact that Mercury moves around the Sun much faster than the Earth does.

Mercury and the Earth always keep the same direction

Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun, but Earth is no. 3. Mercury reaches as far as 46 million km from the sun, while the distance from the earth is 150 million km, which is to say more than three times. Both planets follow the same direction – counterclockwise – around the Sun.

Mercury “moves to the left” most of the time

From Earth’s point of view, Mercury appears to “travel” from right to left for the most part, as it orbits the Sun in just 88 days compared to Earth’s 365 days. The planet appears to maintain this course for about three months until it reaches Earth on its orbit.

Mercury “turns around” on its way past

Mercury overtakes Earth, and while the planet is doing so, it appears to us to change direction and go the other way. Mercury passes Earth for about three weeks and then appears to resume its journey from right to left for the next three months.

All the planets go into a reversal

Reversal is not really a unique phenomenon. Other planets also take up this, for example Mars does it roughly every two years. And the Earth can also go into a reversal – seen from other planets.

See what the Mars retrograde looked like in 2020

In 2020, some planet was even in retrograde for 75% of the year.

It is mostly impossible to directly observe Mercury in retrograde in a telescope, as the Sun always forms a blinding background from here. Mars is much easier to observe.

As the Earth passes Mars, this neighbor of ours appears to take a circuitous tour of the sky.

Thus Mercury’s reputation was tarnished

The reversal phenomenon puzzled astronomers of the past and caused, among other things, the Greek scientist Ptolemy to draw his complex flower patterns to show the orbits of planets. Ever since Copernicus proposed his heliocentric theory in the 16th century, astronomers have realized that reversal is just an illusion.

The reason why Mercury’s path is blamed for so many things that go astray is that in the 17th century Mercury’s reversal was recorded in farmers’ calendars .

Bad weather and various unfortunate events were then placed in a somewhat random context with periods when Mercury was in retrograde.

This interpretation then found its way into astrology and newspaper horoscopes, which even today advise against making important decisions during the more than 60 days of the year that Mercury is in retrograde.

This is argued that Mercury’s mass affects body fluids just as the moon’s mass causes tides, and this causes disruption of neural pathways in the brain.

To put this in context, Mercury is only a little larger than the Moon, but is 80 million km away. However, the moon is only 380 thousand km from us.

From the point of view of physics, the gravitational effects of the innermost planets of the solar system are practically unmeasurable – or ill-measurable – on Earth.

Base on Mercury

  • Mercury and Venus are the only planets in the solar system that do not have any moons . Other planets have at least one, but Jupiter has the most moons, 67 in total.


  • Temperatures on Mercury fluctuate from -173 °C at night to 427 °C during the day. On Mercury, there is almost no vaporsphere to balance the temperature difference.


  • Mercury is hurtling through space at a speed of 180,000 km , making it the fastest planet in the solar system.

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