This Thursday (4), it will be possible to observe Mercury with the naked eye after sunset. The planet will reach its highest point in relation to the horizon in the early evening and will be visible for only 2 hours, according to Astronomy Magazine. To observe it more easily, the ideal is to look towards the west.
This is an unusual event, considering that the planet does not frequently cross the horizon line and, during the nights, it remains little time in the sky due to its proximity to the Sun. The planet reached its maximum eastern elongation at around 9am, at however, it can only be seen earlier this evening.
Due to its position in the Solar System, Mercury will rise just 7º above the horizon – a considerably short distance for Earth observation. For that reason, it will not be so easy to find the little red planet in the sky.
It is worth saying that the planet will be setting earlier each day for the next 2 weeks. And although your arc will increase during this period, its luminosity will gradually decrease – which, consequently, will make it difficult to observe.
Lunar eclipse this Friday (5)
This week will be marked by two important astronomical events. The day after Mercury appears, a penumbral lunar eclipse will take place, in which the Moon will be slightly overshadowed by the Earth's shadow. However, the phenomenon will be visible only in Africa, Australia, Europe, Russia and the eastern region of Brazil.