Fri., Jan. 2 7:08 4:22
Sat., Jan. 3 7:08 4:23
Sun., Jan. 4 7:08 4:24
Mon., Jan. 5 7:08 4:26
Tues., Jan. 6 7:08 4:26
Wed., Jan. 7 7:08 4:27
Thurs., Jan. 8 7:08 4:28
Fri., Jan. 9 7:08 4:29
Mercury is one of the most difficult visible planets to spot, always close to the glare of the sun. In the week ahead there is a rare opportunity to see Mercury. The planet is low in the west southwestern sky, above the bright planet Jupiter, soon after sunset. The two are a pair amid the light of twilight. They are less than 2 degrees apart tonight.
Jupiter is the brighter of the two.
Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Mars are all readily visible at some time during the year. Mercury is always the more difficult to see. Mercury speeds around the Sun in only 88 days, so its appearance is always short and somewhere tied closely to sunrise or sunset.
The skies of winter are often the clearest and so the timing is great for Mercury to be viewable. The planet may be seen on the Vineyard where ever there is a good open view of the southwest. Aquinnah offers plenty of opportunities for unobscured views of the western sky. Chilmark offer quite a few too. The high hills of Oak Bluffs and East Chop might offer a good spot.
The brightest planet in our western sky is Venus after sunset and you can see it anywhere on the Vineyard, in just about anybody’s backyard. Venus is high in the west, well above Mercury and Jupiter.