How to see the 'elusive planet' Mercury in the night sky in February

rod

Oct 22, 2019
1,553
520
2,560
Mercury is often cited as the most difficult of the naked-eye planets to see due its proximity to the sun, but there are times during the year when Mercury can be surprisingly easy to spot.

How to see the 'elusive planet' Mercury in the night sky in February : Read more
"On the evening of Monday, Feb. 10, Mercury (orbit shown as red curve) will reach its widest separation, 18 degrees east of the sun. With Mercury sitting above a nearly vertical evening ecliptic, this will be the best appearance of the planet in 2020 for Northern Hemisphere observers. The optimal viewing times fall between 6 and 7 p.m. local time. Viewed in a telescope (inset), the planet will exhibit a waning half-illuminated phase. (Image credit: Starry Night)"

FYI. I used Starry Night and checked for my location. About 1800 EST, Mercury will be in 250 degrees azimuth and altitude 12 degrees. I view Mercury with 10x50 binoculars, I may try using my telescope that evening, weather permitting.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY