A Crescent Moon Marks Elusive Mercury in the Twilight


Click on an image to enlarge. Images created using the Mobile Observatory app for Android – http://zima.co/


September 29th, 2016

If you’ve never been lucky enough to spot Mercury, this could be your chance as the planet is well placed for observation in the pre-dawn sky. At magnitude 0.6, it’s not fantastically bright but it should still rise a good 90 minutes before the Sun for most observers. In fact, Mercury reached greatest western elongation – its furthest point from the Sun – yesterday, which means it’s currently at its best pre-dawn visibility for the season.

If you’re still having difficulty spotting the tiny planet, look out for the thin crescent Moon nearby. It’s nearly new, but it should still shine brightly enough to be seen in the twilight.

Lastly, look out for regal Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation of Leo, the Lion. It appears higher above the horizon, leading the way for both Mercury and the Moon to follow.


Adapted from 2016: The Night Sky Sights (available in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom) and 2016: An Astronomical Year (available in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom.) For an easy guide to learn the constellations in the night sky, try my book, Signposts to the Stars (see image and links below.)


2016 An Astronomical Year Paperback Cover 2016 The Night Sky Sights The Astronomical Almanac 2015-2019

Easy Things to See With a Small Telescope

2016: An Astronomical Year 2016: The Night Sky Sights The Astronomical Almanac (2015-2019) Signposts to the Stars

(Kindle & Paperback)

(Kindle & Paperback) (Kindle & Paperback) (Kindle & Paperback)

(Kindle & Paperback)

Amazon – US

Amazon – US Amazon – US Amazon – US Amazon – US
Amazon – UK Amazon – UK  Amazon – UK Amazon – UK

Amazon – UK

Details of all available books across the world can be found here or by visiting the author’s page on Amazon. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me at astronomywriter “at” gmail.com


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