Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Tonight's Sky for April 15: Can You See Mercury Yet?

You may have noticed that there was no mention of Mercury, first planet from the Sun all month. Why? Well, it's been rendered invisible by the Sun's glare all month. Well, that's going to be changing in a big way by month's end as Mercury will rapidly rise, leading to a great appearance just after dusk in the next 2 weeks. However, it is already up (barely) in the dusk sky immediately after sunset. To see Mercury, scout out a location with virtually no obstruction due West, which is where the speedy planet will pop out of the twilight sky. How low will you need to look? About three degrees up from the horizon. To simulate, a little finger held at arm's length spans about a degree of sky. Needless to say, binoculars are a must!

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