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Don't miss Mercury shine with the crescent moon in tonight's sky! – Space.com


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By Elizabeth Howell published 2 May 22
The fleeting planet will shine high above the horizon after sunset.
The moon will point the way to the usually elusive Mercury tonight (May 2).
You can catch the two celestial bodies to the west, about 45 minutes after sunset, according to NASA. Mercury will be a full 10 degrees from the horizon, representing one of the last chances to see an evening planet with the naked eye until August.
The conjunction will also feature some bright stars, NASA noted. The red giant Aldebaran will appear just south of the moon at about the same brightness as Mercury, and the red giant star Betelgeuse will be farther away to the upper left of the grouping.
If you’re looking for binoculars or a telescope to see planets in the night sky, check our our guide for the best binoculars deals and the best telescope deals now. If you need equipment, consider our best cameras for astrophotography and best lenses for astrophotography to prepare for the next planet sight.
Related: The brightest planets in the night sky: How to see them (and when)
If you take a photograph of Saturn, Mercury and the moon let us know! You can send images and comments in to spacephotos@space.com.
While the evening sky is rapidly becoming bereft of planets, there’s an epic lineup arriving in the morning sky. Between late June and early July, five planets will be visible from Earth’s perspective: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. The moon will also join the show a couple of times.
The last time five planets appeared simultaneously was in 2020 and, before that, in 2016 and 2005, Michelle Nichols, director of public observing at Chicago’s Adler Planetarium, told Live Science.
Groupings of worlds are relatively common (albeit with fewer at the same time) because the planets, moon and sun all share the same approximate pathway, called the ecliptic.
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Elizabeth Howell, Ph.D., is a contributing writer for Space.com since 2012. As a proud Trekkie and Canadian, she tackles topics like spaceflight, diversity, science fiction, astronomy and gaming to help others explore the universe. Elizabeth’s on-site reporting includes two human spaceflight launches from Kazakhstan, and embedded reporting from a simulated Mars mission in Utah. She holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, and a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada’s Carleton University. Her latest book, NASA Leadership Moments, is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday.
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