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Daijiworld News Network - Mangalore (GA)

Udupi, Feb 16: Planets are always a thing of beauty and mystery for all.  The more one studies about them and the more one gets to know about them, he/she will feel that there’s enormous left to know about them. Though five planets — Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn — are visible to the naked eye, Mercury is the most rare one to see.

Mercury has even eluded to the naked eyes of many of the amateur astronomers in the past. Now there is no need to worry or be sad for long.  During the latter part of the month of February, mercury will be best visible to the naked eyes.

Professor and head of the department of physics, Poornaprajna College and coordinator of Poornaprajna Amateur Astronomers Club Dr A P Bhat here while speaking to the reporters said that the best evening visibility of Mercury has begun on February 8.  After appearing in the evening sky it set 45 minutes after sunset. The innermost planet appears one degree higher in the evening sky each night. At greatest elongation on February 23-24 it reaches maximum of 110 degree above the horizon, 30 minutes after sunset. So it sets 75 minutes after sunset, he informed.

"Do not forget to see the sunset and then mercury on February 23 or 24 and nearby days of this month, try to see mercury in the west at 230 degree from the horizon after sunset," he added. 

In a year mercury may be visible only six times, three times in the early morning and three times in the evening. Each time it may be only for a few days. Even at these times it may not be visible to us, the visibility depends on a number of factors including our position.


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