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Seize your chance to spot Mercury, the solar system’s smallest planet


Scientist

Seize your chance to spot Mercury, the solar system’s smallest planet

Mercury is so tiny and close to the sun it can be tricky to see. But now it’s at its greatest “angular separation” – so grab your binoculars and train them on the east Space 27 November 2019 By Abigail Beall MERCURY passed in front of the sun two weeks ago in a rare transit…

Seize your chance to spot Mercury, the solar system’s smallest planet

Mercury is so tiny and close to the sun it can be tricky to see. But now it’s at its greatest “angular separation” – so grab your binoculars and train them on the east



Space



27 November 2019

By Abigail Beall

New Scientist Default Image

MERCURY passed in front of the sun two weeks ago in a rare transit event. This week, we get a chance to see the planet at night. But you will have to set your alarm.

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Mercury and Venus are known as inferior planets, because they orbit closer to the sun than Earth does. On 28 November, Mercury reached its greatest western elongation. This is the point in its 88-day orbit of the sun when the distance between the sun and Mercury as seen from Earth is the biggest it gets. This apparent distance is also known as the angular separation. …

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