At what maximum height above the horizon can you find Mercury with the naked eye? In what season and at what latitudes can this happen? Consider that Mercury becomes visible in the twilight sky when the Sun plunges under the horizon equal to 6 °.
The maximum angular distance of Mercury from the Sun is 28 °. Therefore, if the Sun is at a depth of at least 6 degrees below the horizon, then Mercury cannot be in the sky above 22 ° (if the Sun-Mercury line is perpendicular to the horizon). It should be noted that the angular distance of Mercury from the Sun can reach 28 ° only during the greatest eastern elongation near the autumn equinox and the greatest western elongation near the vernal equinox. In both cases, Mercury will be above the Sun in the southern tropic, where at this time the ecliptic is perpendicular to the horizon. It is there that you can see Mercury at an altitude of 22 °. However, Mercury can be found much higher (in the limit – at the zenith) during a total solar eclipse.
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