Catch Mercury at Its Best

From the skyandtelescope.com article:
Most people have never knowingly seen Mercury. That’s a pity, because viewing the innermost planet is very rewarding, whether you use a telescope, binoculars, or just your unaided eyes.

The problem with Mercury is that it never strays far in the sky from the Sun, so it’s usually visible only very close to the horizon in bright twilight. But people at mid-northern latitudes (the US and most of Canada, Europe, and Asia) have an extraordinarily good opportunity to view the elusive planet on evenings in May 2008. Throughout most of the month, Mercury is high above the western horizon a half hour after sunset, and it’s still reasonably high even an hour after sunset, when the Sun’s glow is quite subdued.

As always when it’s visible in the evening, Mercury is brightest at the beginning of the apparition, fading from magnitude -0.8 on May 1st to 0.3 on May 12th. That’s nearly a threefold decrease, but magnitude 0.3 is still dazzlingly bright.

Read the reast of the article here.

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