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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About Shala Howell

I spent two decades helping companies like Bell Labs, Juniper Networks, and a genetic testing company that was later acquired by CVS translate some of the world’s most complicated concepts into actionable, understandable English. Now I'm working on a much harder problem -- fostering children’s curiosity and engagement in the scientific, artistic, and linguistic world that surrounds them. The first book in my Caterpickles Parenting Series, What’s That, Mom?, focuses on how to use public art to nurture children’s curiosity in the world around them. My next book will focus on science, and how parents without a science degree can answer their curious child's questions without enrolling in a college level refresher course. In the meantime, you can find me blogging about life with a very curious Eleven-Year-Old at, chatting about books and the writing life at, and tweeting about books, writing, science, & things that make me smile at @shalahowell.
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One Response to Night Sky Watch: The moon helps Mommyo spot Mercury (and Mars)

  1. rayworth1973 says:

    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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