Hey, Space Placers!
Have you ever seen the planet closest to the Sun, Mercury?
Odds are you have not and it has been estimated that less than 1 percent of the entire human population throughout history has seen AND recognized Mercury as a planet.
It can get quite bright in the sky but its close proximity to the Sun and quick movement in the sky from day to day can make it tricky to see.
MERCURY AT SUNSET
Every year there are favorable conditions that can favor either/or the two hemispheres to spot Mercury. The month of May is an EXCELLENT opportunity for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere to see the fleet footed "Winged Messenger".
Starting tonight look to the West-Northwest about 30 minutes after sunset. Look about a fist-width above the horizon which must be free of obstructions, for a yellowish colored "star". You many be able to see bright Venus just below. Use binoculars if you have them as it will help immensely in your search.
Each night for the next few weeks Mercury will be getting higher in the sky and easier to see as will Venus.
The Waxing Crescent Moon on the 12th passes Venus and on the 13th, Mercury. Use the Moon as a guide to find the two innermost planets of the Solar System.
Try using your smartphone or camera to get a pic of the planets and the Moon.
Good hunting and clear skies!!
Sky Guy in VA
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