Observing Mercury, far and near

Robert Bigelow

A milestone in the exploration of the planet Mercury will occur during the best evening opportunity to observe this planet during 2011. On March 17, the MESSENGER spacecraft will go where no spacecraft has gone before, into orbit around Mercury. It will then begin a year-long mission to help answer important questions about a planet that is difficult for us to study from Earth.

Mercury should be visible in the night sky through most of March. It will be at greatest elongation east of the Sun on March 22. Details on observing Mercury and the MESSENGER mission can be found here.

Go outside and see Mercury at this historic time!

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