If you’re a sky-gazer, this afternoon promises a rare glimpse of the planet Mercury — as long as the weather cooperates.
Mercury will be visible in the southwest sky just after sunset — beneath the planet Saturn — which occurs about 4 p.m. today.
Mercury will pass 3o to the south of Saturn, showcasing a conjunction of these two worlds in the evening sky.
Start your search no later than 20 minutes after sunset and bring along binoculars, if you have them.
Saturn, by the way, will stay out another half hour after Mercury sets.
If you miss this afternoon’s performance, you can catch another conjunction on January 13, 2018, with Mercury sweeping about 0.7o south of Saturn. This conjunction, which occurs in the morning sky, should be fairly easy to view – especially since the lit side of the waning crescent moon will be pointing right at Mercury and Saturn.