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Skywatch: Mercury reaches a milestone this week

You'll soon find the planet in the evening sky.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — If you’re out early on Sunday morning, look up and you might catch a shooting star. The November Orionid meteor shower peaks then. 

Believed to be caused by debris left over from Comet C/1917 F1 or Comet Mellish this is not a prolific meteor shower, you’re lucky to see five meteors per hour. 

But if you’re out and about, far away from the city lights, you might just see a meteor streak across the sky. The radiant is in Orion which is in the southern sky after midnight.

Mercury reaches a milestone known as superior conjunction just before midnight on Sunday. This is when the planet, the sun and Earth all line up with Mercury on the backside of the sun. 

As a result, the planet won’t be visible but it’s transitioning into the evening sky in the coming weeks.

The moon has a date with Mars on Thursday morning. The pair will be low in the southeastern sky just before sunrise.

The sky will be darkening throughout the week with the new moon officially arriving Saturday morning at 2:43 a.m. This means we’ll have less light pollution to find stars.

There will also be a total solar eclipse early on Saturday. Sadly it’ll only be visible way down near the South Pole. 

Happy hunting!

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