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Skywatchers, take note: This week is your best opportunity of the year to see the planet Mercury as a "morning star." Of the five planets known since antiquity, Mercury is by far the most rarely seen by the average person. In fact many serious astronomers have never seen planet Mercury , including the famous German astronomer, Johannes Kepler. The reason why Mercury is so rarely spotted is not that it isn't bright: in fact it's generally one of the brightest objects in the sky. Mercury' s problem is that in never strays very far from the sun, so its bright light is always dimmed by the greater glory of our nearest star.
Notice that this puts Mercury and Regulus on a "collision course." Next Friday morning, Sept. 9, there will be a conjunction between Mercury and Regulus . These two objects will then fit together comfortably in the eyepiece of most small telescopes.