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Watching the Skies with Brad Klein | March 25-31: A chance to see Mercury

Watching the skies with Brad Klein

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Brad Klein reviews the week’s astronomical highlights with Bethlehem’s "Backyard Astronomy Guy," Marty McGuire.

This week… a look at the elusive planet Mercury.

One of the toughest-to-view planets from Earth will emerge from the cosmic shadows this week.

NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Arizona State University/Carnegie Institution of Washington
Mercury may be visible in the night sky this week.

Most of the time, Mercury is very difficult to see from Earth. Due to its proximity to the sun, the planet is rarely visible in the night sky.

But this week should provide chances to view the innermost planet, according to McGuire.

Mercury was at its farthest from the sun on March 24. But any day this week you may be able to catch site of it, in the hour after sundown.

You’ll need binoculars and a clear view of the western horizon.

Brad and Marty.jpg
Christine Dempsey
Brad Klein (l) and Marty McGuire

Never look at the sun through binoculars, for reasons of safety.

But after the sun sets around 7:30 p.m., look just above the western horizon using binoculars.

“If you see a bright point of light in your binoculars, you’re probably looking at Mercury,” McGuire said.