Photos of the Sun

Mercury and Venus. The solar system with the naked eye

Mercury and Venus. The solar system with the naked eye

The planets in the morning. Mercury on the left of the image and Venus on the right, glow in the sky shortly after dawn.

Mercury and Venus are the only planets in the Solar System that are closer to the Sun than Earth. That gives them some peculiarities when it comes to observing them. Both are always located in the same direction in which the Sun is found. To the east during the hours near dawn and until a little later. And to the west just before sunset and a few minutes later.

In the sky they are located a few degrees from each other. Venus is easily distinguished by its powerful brightness. Mercury looks like a tiny spot with a weak glow. Of the five planets visible to the naked eye, Mercury is the most complicated to see. Its proximity to the Sun keeps it visible for a very short time before the light damages our eyes.

From Earth, Mercury and Venus are the only planets that show transits in front of the Sun, although they can only be seen with a telescope and due precautions.

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Album: Photos of the Solar System Gallery: The Solar System with the naked eye