|Mercury February, 2018 ⬅︎|
| Mercury is the easiest planet to find but the hardest to see. Look up at the sun and you are also looking at Mercury. As the first planet in our solar system, Mercury is never far from the sun in our sky. Of course Mercury can't be seen during the day but it can't be seen at night either since it rises and sets close to the sun.
So when can Mercury be viewed? In twilight. As it orbits the sun, it moves in our sky from one side of the sun to the other. When it's furthest, or at maximum elongation, Mercury may be visible in dawn twilight about 45 minutes before sunrise or in evening twilight about 45 minutes after sunset. These periods last weeks at most and you'll need an unobstructed view of the horizon.
|Viewing Mercury in February, 2018|
|Level||Moderate||Rating||Best Viewing||End of February, evening twilight|
|Find||Look in evening twilight in the SW sky (see above). |
|Look for a whitish, small orb. It may be slightly red due to twilight.|
|Since Mercury might not be much brighter than the glow of twilight, binoculars may help in finding it.
|Use a telescope to view the current phase.|
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