Mercury reaches its maximum elongation … this evening


In a phenomenon that can be seen with the naked eye.

The Astronomical Society in Jeddah stated that the planet Mercury reaches its eastern maximum on Monday, and is visible with the naked eye towards the western horizon, after sunset and moving towards the beginning of the night.

The chief astronomer of Jeddah, Eng. Majed Abu Zahra, said through the association’s Facebook page that this month is considered wonderful for observing Mercury in the northern hemisphere. We all watched Venus, Mars or Jupiter shining in the sky, but not Mercury, adding that despite its smallness The size of Mercury, except that it is too bright to be observed with the naked eye, but we often do not notice it.

He added that the best time to observe Mercury is when the planet reaches its maximum angle from the sun, as seen from Earth, and this event is called (the largest elongation) and it occurs every 70-40 days.

The chief astronomer of Jeddah pointed out that there are two types of extensions – eastern and western, so when Mercury is east of the sun, it is an evening easterly elongation, and when it is on the western side of the sun, it is a westerly morning elongation.

He added that the maximum elongation angle of Mercury ranges between 18 degrees and 28 degrees east or west of the sun, and the reason for this difference is because Mercury’s orbit is not completely circular.

Abu Zahira explained that it is possible to start searching for Mercury at sunset. Where the planet will appear like a bright star in front of the constellation Taurus, and with a telescope one can see the phases of Mercury that resemble the phases of the moon. But you should not wait too long; Because Mercury will be 20 degrees above the horizon and set about an hour and a half after sunset.

Read also:

Astronomy of Jeddah: Venus perpendicularly to the Kaaba on the first day of the blessed Eid al-Fitr


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