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Association of Bangalore Amateur Astronomers

Mercury in the evening Sky

5 Nov 2018, 06:31 UTC
Mercury in the evening Sky
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In the evening sky, low in the horizon, if we carefully look we can find the smallest planet in our solar system. After sunset, in a place where there are no obstruction like buildings or trees, in this unobstructed view of the western horizon we can spot planet mercury. Since mercury orbits close to the sun we can only find the planets close to the horizon in evening or morning skies. During its orbit around the sun there are two favorable points where we can observe the planet. This is the maximum separation of angle between Sun and planet. This point of maximum separation is called Greatest elongation. For planet mercury this greatest elongation angle is between 18 degrees to 28 degrees. This is the reason why most people miss the planet, since it is so close to horizon. On November 6th the planet will reach greatest elongation giving us a good opportunity to catch a glimpse of this planet with naked eye, binoculars and telescopes. The angle for this elongation is 23 degrees, this means just after sunset the planet will be 23degrees above western horizon. Spot planet after sunset in western sky.The planet will be at a magnitude ...

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