Astronomy blog

A rare gem at sunset

By Dave Samuhel, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
3/17/2018, 4:28:59 PM

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If you have never seen Mercury, now is your chance. Mercury is as easy to spot as it ever gets.

Look west right after sunset. One bright object will grab your attention immediately. That isn't Mercury, but Venus. Once you spot Venus, look about 2 o'clock, assuming Venus is the center of a clock face.


This is a great example of what Venus and Mercury will look like to the naked eye during the evening.

Mercury will be brighter than all of the surrounding stars, so it is unmistakable. Many people never spot Mercury since it is usually very low on the horizon, due to its close proximity to the sun.

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The waxing crescent moon will join the pair Sunday and Monday. On Sunday, the pencil-thin crescent moon will be right next to Venus. The crescent moon will be a little easier to spot Monday when it will be brighter.

Don't wait too long to look for Mercury. It will drop closer to the horizon next week. It will be too close to the sun to be spotted by the end of March.

Not too many things are free anymore; however, looking at the night sky is still one of those things. Thanks for reading! Just look up, you never know what you will see.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

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