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Moon, Mercury and a Colorful Horizon

By: Doug Zubenel

 

Region: Americas

Site: Kansas - USA

Date: January 2008

As seen on Astronomy Picture of the Day this colorful view of the western sky at sunset features slender crescent Moon and the planet Mercury. The innermost planet is always close to the Sun in Earth's sky, seen here below and right of center against the bright orange glow along the horizon. Mercury is usually difficult to glimpse because of overwhelming sunlight. As noted by the photographer "On the morning of January 9th, 2008, I saw images on Spaceweather.com from Greece showing the very young moon near Mercury, and it occurred to me that they would still be close when evening fell here in the US. High clouds choking the western sky cleared just at sunset, revealing a very clean sky streaked with jet contrails. It was the finest pairing of the moon and Mercury above the Kansas prairie I have seen so far". Doug Zubenel.

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