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Observer’s challenge: Moon points to Mercury August 1, 2 and 3

Moon points to Mercury: Chart: Twilight sky with the three positions of moon on succeeding days, a star and a planet.
New moon was July 28, 2022. On August 1, 2 and 3, the lighted portion of the waxing crescent moon points to Mercury. But will you see Mercury? Yes, if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere! Only with difficulty, if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere. Watch for it low in the west, shortly after sunset, throughout August. Try binoculars. And keep trying! As seen from the Northern Hemisphere, Mercury will be buried in our western twilight throughout August. Chart via John Jardine Goss/ EarthSky.

Moon points to Mercury in early August

By August 1, 2 and 3, 2022, the slender waxing crescent moon hangs low in the west shortly after sunset. Notice the earthshine on its darkened portion. If you have a clear sky and unobstructed horizon to the west, you might also try using the moon to search for Mercury. The lighted portion of the crescent will point to the planet.

Mercury is our sun’s innermost planet, and it always stays near the sun in our sky. It’s just now returning to our evening sky. In early August, 2022, Mercury is very near the sunset. Will you see it? Yes, if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere! Only with difficulty, if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere. Try binoculars.

As the moon waxes larger, it’ll also sweep past the bright star Spica, in the constellation Virgo the Maiden.

Mercury will have a great evening apparition in August 2022 … for the Southern Hemisphere. For us in the Northern Hemisphere, Mercury will hug the evening twilight horizon throughout August.

But photographers in the Northern Hemisphere will be trying to snag it. And, for those standing outside gazing, hoping to catch sight of it, a careful search with binoculars might bring the little planet – said to be the most elusive planets because it always stays near the sun – into view.

Love the night sky? For more observing events, visit EarthSky’s night sky guide.

Bottom line: A night sky challenge for the Northern Hemisphere: Mercury near the moon on August 1, 2 and 3, 2022. You’ll find the slender waxing crescent moon hanging low in the west shortly after sunset. Its lighted portion will point to Mercury.

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