Elusive Mercury is presenting its morning apparition in the eastern sky before sunrise following its inferior conjunction between Earth and Sun on 2019 MAR 15. This should be a poor apparition for most observers north of the tropics, but a fine one for almost everyone else.
Mercury will resume apparent direct motion in right ascension on 2019 MAR 27. By the standard of 30 minutes before sunrise for Chicago, it will reach its highest altitude of 3.8° on APR 04. On 2019 APR 11 Mercury will attain its Greatest Western Elongation of 27.7°. Through a telescope on APR 13, it will be seen in dichotomy, i.e. 50% illuminated like a Half Moon. Prior to that Mercury will appear as a crescent and afterward gibbous. While increasing in brilliance, it will fall to inferior conjunction behind the Sun on MAY 21.
Mercury will appear near Venus on 2019 APR 16.
The Moon will appear near Mercury on 2019 APR 03 & MAY 03 without occultations.
NOTE: Event dates in this article are for North American Central Time at those moments nearest to 30 before sunrise for Chicago.
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