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Do you want to see Mercury?

Posted at 10:36 AM, Apr 20, 2016

Do you want to see Mercury? Well, now is the time! The closest planet to the sun is usually difficult to see because of the sun's glare, but next week it will be at its brightest, making it very easy to detect with the naked eye.

It is best to see Mercury during the months of April and May in the evening sky and in October and November in the morning sky. In the next two weeks watch for Mercury 30 minutes after sunset and remember timing is everything.

If you look for it any earlier, the planet will be impossible to spot in the bright twilight sky and if you look for it any later it will have moved so low that it will be lost in the horizon haze. You will be disappointed if you use a telescope because Mercury will show up as a tiny half moon.

If you are lucky enough to seek out Mercury, you will have done better than the first person who discovered the laws of planetary motion.  Johannes Kepler never managed to spot Mercury while he was living. Now that's ironic!

Happy Viewing!