Early-Risers Can See Mercury on Friday, October 16

The smoldering planet closest to the sun will be visible in the sky at sunrise tomorrow.

by Sam Blum

For most of us, the elusiveness of planets that comprise our solar system is predicated upon their distance from the sun. The smoldering hot planet Mercury, which is nearest to the sun, will be visible in the early morning sky tomorrow, for those who wake before sunrise in the Northern Hemisphere.

The dawn hours of October 16th will provide anyone the best possible chance of catching a glimpse of Mercury, while the planet is at its greatest point of elongation from the sun, according to Earth Sky.

Binoculars will help you spot our solar system’s innermost planet, but you might not need them, especially if you’re sky-gazing from an extreme northerly location, like Nova Scotia, Alaska, or the bristly planes of Siberia. Mercury will rear itself 90 minutes before sunrise, and should reappear prominently in the nascent morning sky throughout the following week.

For unlucky souls living in the Southern Hemisphere, Mercury will be harder to catch. It appears less than one hour before sunrise, and then slinks back into invisibility once darkness fades.

In November, Mercury will cross over into the evening sky, giving both hemispheres an equal vantage point of spotting the sun’s closest planetary neighbor.