NASA’s Mercury MESSENGER spacecraft is preparing to insert itself into orbit tonight, Mar. 17. While you may not have a seat, you can still see Mercury tonight after sunset from the comfort of planet Earth.
Close-up image of a portion of Mercury’s surface, captured on a MESSENGER fly-by
on Oct. 6, 2008. (NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/
Carnegie Institution of Washington)
The key to seeing Mercury is having an unobstructed view of the horizon in the sunrise or sunset direction. You should look for Mercury about 30 to 40 minutes after sunset, as soon as the sky begins to darken.
For more viewing information about Mercury and other skywatching opportunities, visit: http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/ataglance
Keep up on the latest progess of Mercury MESSENGER at NASA’s MESSENGER mission page: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/messenger/main/index.html
and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory Website: http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/