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When can you see mercury in the night sky in the Seattle area?

Originally from ticket #4617.

when can you see mercury in the night sky in the Seattle area?

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    Geoff Gaherty

    Mercury is often a difficult planet to find, but there are certain short periods each year when it can be seen with the naked eye with little effort, either just after sunset

    or before sunrise.

     

    In 2012, Northern Hemisphere observers will have two periods when Mercury can easily be located. During the first half of March, Mercury can be seen low in the

    west-northwest soon after sunset. During mid-August, Mercury can be seen low in the east-northeast just before sunrise.

     

    Southern Hemisphere observers will find Mercury well placed in the morning sky during mid-April, and in the evening sky in late October.

     

    Date                    Event                         Degrees from Sun     Magnitude      N. Hemisphere    S. Hemisphere    Visibility

                                                                                                                                                                                 

    February 7          Superior Conjunction                                                                                                                              

    March 5              Greatest Elongation East     18                         –0.4           Excellent            Poor                      Evening

    March 21            Inferior Conjunction                                                                                                                              

    April 18              Greatest Elongation West    27                         +0.3            Poor                   Excellent               Morning

    May 27              Superior Conjunction                                                                                                                              

    July 1                Greatest Elongation East     26                         +0.4             Fair                    Good                     Evening

    July 28              Inferior Conjunction                                                                                                                              

    August 16         Greatest Elongation West    19                         –0.1             Excellent            Poor                      Morning

    September 10   Superior Conjunction                                                                                                                              

    October 26       Greatest Elongation East     24                        –0.2               Poor                  Excellent                Evening

    November 17    Inferior Conjunction                                                                                                                              

    December 4     Greatest Elongation West    21                        –0.5               Good                 Poor                       Morning

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