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Night Sky in May

The first half of May is the best time  this year to see Mercury. It is the closest planet to the sun, with a maximum angular separation of 28 degrees. This means it can never be seen in a dark sky, but when well placed east of the sun can be seen for an  hour or so after sunset. The combination of Mercury's orbit and earth's means that it has 3 periods of appearing each side of the sun per year, but the time of year makes a big difference. May for evening apparitions is good for 2 reasons. Mercury has an eccentric orbit, and May is one of the times when it is furthest from the sun, so the angular...

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