The orbit of Mercury is contained within the orbit of the Earth, which means it’s always near the sun in our sky and not super easy to see. If you want to more easily spot Mercury, it helps to look for it at its greatest separation from the sun in our sky — a point referred to as its Greatest Elongation. The planet reaches this position Oct. 24. Starting shortly before 6 a.m., look low on the eastern horizon directly below the constellation of Leo. Mercury will appear similar to a relatively bright star shortly before morning twilight sets in.
Each month, Rancho Mirage Library and Observatory astronomer Eric McLaughlin spotlights a notable celestial event. For information about the observatory, visit ranchomiragelibrary.org.
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