• L.A. Brown

Venus and Mercury

The two closest planets to the sun appear in our western sky in the evenings ahead. Venus is the easiest to spot, the brightest of all celestial objects in our night sky. Mercury is not far below, but nowhere as near as bright. Mercury reaches greatest elongation from the sun on Tuesday night. That means the planet is as far away from the sun as will get this spring. This is an opportune time to hunt for the wandering planet.

Of all the visible planets, Mercury is the hardest to spot and not because of its brightness. The planet is hard to spot, for it never wanders far from either the setting sun or the rising morning sun. Mercury is always in the glow of dawn or twilight.

But this weekend and the nights into the coming week are perfect for spotting this elusive planet. Find a spot where the western sky is unencumbered by trees and tall hills. An ideal spot is Menemsha Beach, West Chop overlook, or anywhere along the North shore. Mercury is the brightest object just underneath Venus and visible only for the next two weeks.

Sunrise and Sunset
Day Sunrise Sunset
Fri., April 7 6:15 7:13
Sat., April 8 6:13 7:14
Sun., April 9 6:11 7:15
Mon., April 10 6:10 7:16
Tues., April 11 6:08 7:17
Wed., April 12 6:07 7:18
Thurs., April 13 6:05 7:19
Fri., April 14 6:03 7:20
Temperatures and Precipitations
Day Max (Fº) Min (Fº) Inches
March 31 44 27 0.00
April 1 51 40 0.30
April 2 52 46 0.53
April 3 51 27 0.00
April 4 53 43 0.00
April 5 60 46 0.21
April 6 53 43 0.01


Water temperature in Edgartown harbor: 50º F


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