Mercury at greatest elongation west

2014 Mar 14

Mercury will appear bright and well placed for observation in the morning sky.

Mercury is always close to the Sun in the sky since its orbit lies closer to the Sun than the Earth’s. On this day, however, it will reach its furthest point to the west of the Sun, meaning that it will rise more than an hour ahead of the Sun, appearing prominent at mag -1.8 on the eastern horizon for a brief time before sunrise.

At the moment of greatest elongation, Mercury will lie in the constellation Capricornus, at a distance of 27°33′ from the Sun. Its declination will be -13°40’36” , and so it will be seen to best advantage in the southern hemisphere.