Summer 2018 is a fantastic time for locating planets in the sky.
Mars, in particular, is especially exciting! On July 27, it will make its brightest appearance in our sky in 15 years. That night, we're celebrating right here at the Science Center with a Mars Madness party.
But this summer is also a great time to locate the elusive planet Mercury, and the night of July 14 is your best opportunity to catch it.
On July 14, on your quest to locate the "Swift Planet" (as Mercury is nicknamed), you can use the Moon and the planet Venus as your guides. Around 9:00 pm EST, look for the very slender crescent Moon. Venus will be above the Moon, and just below the Moon (less than the width of your pinky finger at arm's length) will be Mercury.
Since Mercury is so low, make sure to look over a flat horizon, with no trees or buildings in your way.
Interested in learning more? We're currently covering this topic in our all-live planetarium show, Wonders of the Night Sky, as part of our LSC Space News Now breaking news section of the show. Click here to explore all the shows currently playing in our Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium and LSC Giant Dome Theater.