Mysterious Mercury, the smallest planet in the Solar System, will be visible to the naked eye on August 9 and August 12.  These celestial events will occur due to elongation.  When the greatest elongation takes place, you can observe a planet from Earth.  There are two types of elongation:  greatest eastern elongation and greatest western elongation.  When the greatest eastern elongation takes place, you will be able to see a planet after sunset.  When a planet is visible before sunrise, greatest western elongation occurs.  The events on August 9 and August 12 will take place during the greatest western elongation, so you will be able to see Mercury before sunrise.  Since it is difficult to see Mercury from far away, you can consider these celestial events as Mother Nature’s gift.  No matter what kind of day awaits you, viewing Mercury will certainly inspire you.

As you participate in these celestial events, remember to be cautious.  Never view Mercury with a telescope or binoculars when the sun is still above the horizon as this can cause permanent eye damage and even blindness.  Even though you will be able to view mysterious Mercury with the naked eye, some observers will prefer to use binoculars or telescopes to get an even better glance at this mystifying planet. Always read the instructions of binoculars and telescopes before you use them.  After all, we all want to experience a safe and unforgettable astronomical experience.

You may want to brush up on some facts about Mercury before viewing this celestial body in the azure morning sky.  Mercury, a planet that is brighter than Sirius, is the fifth brightest object in the sky.  Even though Mercury is the smallest planet, it is the closest planet to each planet in the Solar System.  In addition to Venus, Earth and Mars, Mercury also belongs to the four terrestrial planets.  Mysterious Mercury has a rocky surface like Earth.

Named after the Roman deity Mercury, who was a messenger of the Gods, Mercury has a higher iron content than any other planet.  According to data from Messenger, Mercury is a hot planet but also has icy regions that were discovered during NASA’s mission on November 29, 2012.  Unlike Earth and other planets, Mercury has no satellites.  As seen from the galaxy, mysterious Mercury has a dark gray color.

In the 17th century Galileo made the first observations about Mercury.  NASA’s first mission to Mercury was on Mariner 10 from 1974 to 1975.  The next mission to mysterious Mercury is scheduled to take place in 2025 on the BepiColombo spacecraft.  Still to this day, Mercury is the heavenly body that scientists know the least about.

On October 18, Mercury will reach the highest level in the evening sky. Coincidentally, nature picked the best month for mysterious Mercury to light up the night sky.  Just before Halloween, Mercury will make its grand appearance during one of the most mystifying months of the year.  As it will shine brightly, surrounded by stars, Mercury will still hold many secrets.