Night Sky Watch: The moon helps Mommyo spot Mercury (and Mars)

This illustration by Andrew Fazekas of SkySafari shows where Mercury will appear in relationship to the moon and Mars. (Art: Andrew Fazekas)

If you happen to live in an area where clouds and/or light pollution aren’t blocking your view of the sky (Chicago, I love you, but you do have a tendency to thwart my inner astronomer), take a moment to look for Mercury.

The elusive innermost planet in our solar system will be easier to spot tonight than usual as it will be at its highest and brightest point in our skies. Normally Mercury is hidden by the sun’s glare, but tonight it will be at its furthest point from the Sun and so much easier to see. Look for it at the bottom right corner of a celestial triangle containing Mercury, the crescent Moon, and Mars.

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One comment

  1. Mercury is always tough and not much to look at. However, once in a while, the disk shows a bit of shadows and such, if the seeing (atmosphere steady and not boiling) is good. I usually catch it about once a year, just for giggles.


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