Here’s how to spot Mercury during its most visible night

Shane McGlaun - Oct 12, 2015, 2:00 pm CDT
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Here’s how to spot Mercury during its most visible night

Skywatchers who don’t mind getting up early to catch a glimpse of something special in the early morning skies will want to pay attention over the next several weeks. This is one of the best times of the year to catch a glimpse at Mercury. The best time to see the elusive planet is around 5:45 a.m. and look into the Eastern skies.

In the eastern skies you will be able to find Jupiter, Mars, and Venus along with Mercury, if you know where to look. All of the planets will be on display in the sky from lower left to upper right. Something interesting to watch for is how the planets seem to change position night to night.

Between October 22 and October 29 three planets will be within 5-degrees of each other, defined as a trio. For the entire month of October, Mercury will rise before the sun and can be viewed by scanning the eastern horizon with binoculars, but you will be able to see it with the naked eye as well.

On October 16, Mercury will be 18-degrees to the east of the sun and will glow brightly making it the best day of the year to view the innermost planet in the early morning. The brightest day for viewing will be October 30 when Mercury will be brighter in the sky than all stars except Sirius.

SOURCE: Space.com


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