Mercury Kisses Mars
Mars and Mercury are hanging out just above the northwestern horizon after sunset this week. Here's how to see them in the sky.
Mercury reaches its highest point in the sky and becomes easier to spot every night while it climbs away from the sun and brightens. The best time to look for the planet falls between 9:45 and 10:30 pm local time.
On Tuesday, as twilight fades, use binoculars or a telescope to catch Mercury and Mars low in the west-northwest sky. Mercury’s recent orbital motion is carrying it directly towards, and then above, dimmer Mars. The two planets will “kiss”! This is the closest approach of Mercury and Mars in the past 13 years.
The brightest of the two planets is Mercury. The two stars just to the upper right of the planets are Castor and Pollux. Mars is actually fainter now that the Gemini Twin stars.
Take care that the Sun has set before attempting to view the planets. Our Star Walk 2 app will help you identify objects in the sky and will keep you up to date with the latest astronomy news and observing tips.
Clear skies and happy hunting!