Starwatch: One of the best views of Mercury this week

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(WJHL)- Mercury is typically tough to see thanks to it being close to the sun in our sky and washed out. But one of the best views occurs this week! That is thanks to Mercury being at its greatest elongation on January 24, 2021. In other words, it will be at the outer edge of its orbit, placing the innermost planet higher in our western sky. 

Mercury entered our evening sky at superior conjunction on December 20, 2020. The planet will leave our view during the inferior conjunction on February 8, 2021. Mercury is seen in the west sky after sunset at its greatest eastern elongation. On the other hand, Mercury is found in the east before sunrise during its greatest western elongation. 

Look for Mercury in the western sky, about 30 to 45 minutes after sunset. Mercury will set by 7-7:30 pm. Although the elongation occurs on the 24th, for about a week it will look fairly similar every evening.

Thanks to EarthSky

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