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Mercury at greatest evening elongation on July 19

19 Jul 2011, 08:01 UTC
Mercury at greatest evening elongation on July 19
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With an unobstructed view westward and a clear sky, you should be able to view Mercury over the horizon some 45 to 60 minutes after sunset. If you can't see Mercury with the eyes alone, try binoculars.

Mercury, the solar system’s innermost planet, is at or near its greatest eastern elongation from the sun today. That means, as seen from Earth, this world is swinging farthest away from the setting sun. At nearly 27 degrees from the sun today, this is also Mercury’s greatest elongation for the year. (One fist-width at an arm length approximates 10 degrees of sky.)
With an unobstructed view westward and a clear sky, you should be able to view Mercury over the horizon some 45 to 60 minutes after sunset. If you can’t see Mercury with the eyes alone, try binoculars.
Setting time for sun and Mercury in your sky
Don’t mistake Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation Leo the Lion, for Mercury. The innermost planet lurks even closer to the horizon. If you are familiar with the planet Saturn and the star Regulus, draw an imaginary line from Saturn through Regulus to locate Mercury.
Give m five minutes, I’ll give you Saturn ...

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