Sorry northerners, but the moon-and-Mercury show in the west after sunset greatly favors the southern hemisphere.
You’re not likely to catch the moon and the planet Mercury after sunset from northerly latitudes, like those in the United States, Canada or Europe. That’s because the moon and Mercury follow the sun beneath the horizon so soon after sunset in the northern hemsiphere.
In the southern hemisphere, on the other hand, you have a good chance of spotting the moon and Mercury. With an unobstructed western horizon and clear skies, the waxing crescent moon and Mercury should be yours to behold by late dusk this evening.
At temperate latitudes in the southern hemisphere – like at South Africa, Australia and New Zealand – Mercury sets anywhere from one hour and 40 minutes to over 2 hours after the sun. The setting time for the young crescent moon happens later after sunset at southerly latitudes, as well.
Setting times for the moon and Mercury in your sky
The sky chart on the right (for Cape Town, South Africa) shows you why the moon and Mercury set later after the sun in the southern hemisphere. The ecliptic – the pathway of the sun, moon ...