Mercury/Saturn conjunction soon! | 1/11/2018 | Bruce McClure
kims (Posted by) Level 3
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The planets Mercury and Saturn will be in conjunction on January 13, 2018, with Mercury passing some 0.7o south of Saturn. For reference, the moon’s diameter spans about one-half degree (0.5o) of sky. Before daybreak the next few mornings – January 12, 13 and 14 – try catching the close pairing of Mercury and Saturn as the predawn darkness gives way to morning dawn. Look in the sunrise direction. The lit side of the waning crescent moon will be pointing in the direction of Mercury and Saturn, with these two planets sitting quite close to the sunrise point on your horizon.

Mercury will be the brighter of these two worlds.

Caution - Mercury - Saturn - Sun - Window

One caution: Mercury and Saturn rise very shortly before the sun. So there is a narrow window for seeing them, before the dawn drowns them from view. Click here for recommended almanacs; they can give you the time of both sunrise and planet-rise in your sky.

The rising times for Mercury and Saturn vary somewhat around the world, depending on where you are. At temperate latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere, these planets come up about one and one-quarter hours before the sun. At temperate latitudes in the Southern hemisphere, they rise about one and one-half hours before sunrise.

Matter - Horizon - Direction - Sunrise - Binoculars

No matter where you live, however, you’ll want an unobstructed horizon in the direction of sunrise. Keep you binoculars handy, because the viewing is sometimes murky near the...
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