The best way to see the planet Mercury at its best western elongation

January 30, and the times simply earlier than and simply after that, will likely be a superb time to try to see Mercury as a result of it’s at its best western elongation. You received’t want a telescope for this, however you could have to get up early. Additionally, the Southern Hemisphere will get a greater view than the Northern. And as all the time with stargazing, if the clouds don’t cooperate, you’re out of luck.

What’s the best western elongation of Mercury?

Mercury is an “inferior planet.” That doesn’t imply it’s simply not all that nice. For Earthlings, the time period merely refers to Venus and Mercury, the planets that orbit nearer to the Solar than we do. So any time we strive to take a look at one in all these planets we’re wanting kind of towards the solar quite than out into house.


Why is it referred to as a snow moon? (And when to see it)

You don’t are likely to glimpse Venus and Mercury too typically, as a result of they’re hugging the solar, an object that’s exponentially brighter in our sky — as you’ve most likely seen.

However when an inferior planet is at or close to one in all its “best elongations” (every inferior planet has an jap and a western “best elongation”) you’ll have an honest shot at seeing it. As a result of it is at a degree of best (deep breath) angular separation from the Solar relative to Earth — so it isn’t essentially on the best distance from the solar in its complete orbit, however that is what it appears to be like wish to us Earthlings, and due to that, it is going to appear brighter, and can look that manner for longer.

How can I see Mercury at its best western elongation?

You’ll must look towards the solar throughout twilight simply earlier than daybreak, or simply after sundown. In case you have a reasonably clear line of sight to the horizon Mercury must be there, a bit of dot within the clown near the place sky meets land. To distinguish this tiny, faint planet from any stars which may be seen, it could assist do obtain a stargazing app with an augmented actuality part. SkySafari(Opens in a brand new window) is one instance of such an app.

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