Editor in charge: Wang Shiyao
This year, for the first time this year, Mercury will be staged on the 6th from the west, which can appreciate the true appearance of the smallest planet in the solar system.
Xinhua News Agency, Tianjin, March 4 (Reporter Zhou Runjian) Astronomical experts introduced that on March 6, the second large distance between Mercury in 2021, and also the first large distance between the West, will be staged in Tianyu. At that time, if the weather is fine, the interested public in our country can try to observe the smallest planet in the solar system with binoculars or small astronomical telescopes a few days before and after the long distance.
Because it is too close to the sun, Mercury is often annihilated in the sun’s brilliance, making it the most difficult to observe among the five planets: gold, wood, water, fire, and earth. Only when the angular distance between Mercury and the sun reaches the maximum, that is, the “large distance”, will the public have the most hope to see Mercury. Mercury is called “East distance” to the east of the sun, and “Western distance” to the west of the sun. In the “East Distance”, Mercury can be found above the western horizon at dusk; in the “Western Distance”, Mercury appears in the east low altitude at dawn.
Zhao Zhiheng, an astronomy education expert and director of the Tianjin Astronomical Society, introduced that although the angular distance between Mercury and the sun is up to 27 degrees, which is close to the maximum value, the horizon height of Mercury at sunrise is only 11 degrees. It is difficult and challenging to observe.
So, how to find the position of Mercury in Tianyu? Zhao Zhiheng reminded that if the weather is fine, interested and able to get up early, if the weather is fine, at around 5 am on the 6th, Zhao Zhiheng reminded him to find a place with a wide view, facing the southeast and low altitude, first to find Jupiter with a brightness of -2.0, which is more obvious and easy to identify. Then use Jupiter for navigation. Not far from the bottom left of Jupiter, there is Mercury with a brightness of 0.1 magnitude. It will be easier to see it with binoculars or small astronomical telescopes. In addition, on March 5th, Mercury and Jupiter are the closest, and the distance between the two is less than 0.5 degrees (the apparent diameter of the full moon), which is also worth seeing.
It is understood that in 2021, Mercury will have a total of six large distances, the “East distance” and the “West distance” three times each. The next Mercury distance will occur on May 17, which is the “East distance”.