The Sky in September
Rao, Joe, Natural History
Mercury makes a brief appearance in the September sky, peeking out from the glare of the Sun in the first week of the month. On the 9th, shining at magnitude -0.4, the swiftest planet reaches its greatest elongation, eighteen degrees west of the Sun, and rises with the break of day. The following morning Mercury is up ninety minutes before the Sun and passes breathtakingly close to the star Regulus. Observed from Europe, the planet almost grazes Regulus, passing just 0.06 degree (about an eighth the diameter of the full Moon) south of the star. For most viewers in the Western Hemisphere, Mercury has already begun to recede from the star by the time the planet rises, though it is still …
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Publication information: Article title: The Sky in September. Contributors: Rao, Joe - Author. Magazine title: Natural History. Volume: 113. Issue: 7 Publication date: September 2004. Page number: 73. © American Museum of Natural History Dec 2008/Jan 2009. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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