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Astro Bob

A Hot Planet And An Old Moon Chase The Horizon At Dawn

5 Sep 2018, 23:22 UTC
A Hot Planet And An Old Moon Chase The Horizon At Dawn
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Mercury will be bright but very low tomorrow morning (Sept. 6). Look three fists below and left of the crescent moon. Regulus is right next store and should be visible in binoculars. You’ll need a spot with a wide open horizon to the east as the planet will only be about 6° high at the time. Stellarium
Mercury pops in and out view for only a few weeks at a time before disappearing in the solar glare. Its appearances are brief compared to the other planets because it orbits close to the sun. From mid-northern latitudes the fleet planet is always caught up in the glow of dusk or dawn and never visible in a dark sky.
Mercury’s been out at dawn the past couple weeks and remains visible very low in the eastern sky about 40 minutes before sunrise. Because it’s looping back toward the sun’s direction in a hurry, we only have a couple mornings left to see it. Mercury always grows brighter in the dawn sky the lower it sinks in the east because it’s waxing to full phase. Through a telescope it looks like a very tiny full moon. Tomorrow, it shines at magnitude –1.1 or ...

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