Friday, February 8, 2013

The Best Conjunction of 2013

Tonight we have the best conjunction of the year!

A conjunction is where two astronomical objects are close together. In this case Mercury and Mars will be only 20 arc minutes apart - 2/3rd the diameter of the moon!

The east coast of the US is under a winter storm warning, but if you live in a location where it is clear, observing the conjunction is relatively easy, provided you have a good horizon to the west (that is there are no buildings or other obstructions in that direction). Wait until after sunset and use binoculars to look in the same direction of the setting sun. Immediately after sunset it will be too bright to see anything, but if it is clear at your location, Mercury and Mars should gradually become visible. Binoculars are not really necessary as both Mercury and Mars are visible without visual aids. It probably will take a few minutes, be patient. Mercury will set about one hour after the sun sets, after that the show is over.

1 comment:

  1. If you missed it, there is still a change for several days to see Mercury and Mars, again it will be shortly after sunset each night. However the separation between Mercury and Mars will be increasing. Use binoculars if you have them.