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Mercury in the night’s sky

March 6, 2012
By AILEEN O'DONOGHUE , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

This month, Mercury makes one of its fleeting appearances in the evening sky. It swung around the far side of the sun on Feb. 7 and has been slowly rising into the sunset sky. It was farthest from the sun at 4 a.m. today, in a position known as "greatest eastward elongation." In astronomy, a body's elongation is its angular distance away from the sun. Mercury's maximum was only 18 degrees, so it will set only an hour and a half after the sun (about 7:30 p.m.).



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