Ephemeris for Tuesday, February 26th. Today the Sun will be up for 11 hours even, setting at 6:26, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:24. The Moon, at last quarter today, will rise at 2:49 tomorrow morning.
This evening the planet Mercury is at its greatest distance from the Sun to the east by an angle of 18 degrees. It’s called greatest eastern elongation from the Sun. Mercury has a very elliptical orbit of the Sun, and right now it’s near its closest to the Sun called perihelion, of 28.6 million miles (46.1 million km). In late winter and spring the ecliptic, the path in the sky that the planets appear near, meets the horizon at a steep angle near sunset, which allows us to see planets near and east of the Sun more easily. The same is true for the planets west of the Sun in the morning in the fall. Southern hemisphere observers see Mercury best when its is at aphelion, farthest from the Sun, 66 percent farther away.
The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.
Looking at Mercury at greatest eastern elongation tonight February 26, ...