Today Mercury will be at maximum western elongation, as high in the morning sky as it will appear for this current apparition. After today the planet will slide back into the dawn, passing through superior conjunction on June 21st to reappear in the evening in mid-July.
This will be the best morning apparition of the inner planet for 2016. The best evening apparition of 2017 will be in July, with a maximum elongation of over 27°.
There are no transits of Mercury in 2017, the next will be Nov 11, 2019.
|Mercury Events for 2017|
|Maximum Elongation||Jan 19||24.1°W||+0.0|
|Superior Conjunction||Mar 6|
|Maximum Elongation||Apr 1||19.0°E||+0.2|
|Inferior Conjunction||Apr 19|
|Maximum Elongation||May 17||25.8°W||+0.7|
|Superior Conjunction||Jun 21|
|Maximum Elongation||Jul 30||27.2°E||+0.6|
|Inferior Conjunction||Aug 26|
|Maximum Elongation||Sep 12||17.9°W||-0.1|
|Superior Conjunction||Oct 8|
|Maximum Elongation||Nov 24||22.0°E||-0.1|
|Inferior Conjunction||Dec 12|
|Source: NASA Sky Calendar and the Mercury Chaser’s Calculator|