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168P/Hergenrother reaches its brightest

Comet 168P/Hergenrother is forecast to reach its brightest, at around mag 11.5. It will lie at a distance of 1.37 AU from the Sun, and at a distance of 1.13 AUfrom the Earth.

From Hyderabad, it will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 23:43 (IST) – 6 hours and 18 minutes before the Sun – and reaching an altitude of 63° above the north-eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 05:08.

Events | August 22, 2019

Mercury at perihelion

Mercury’s 88-day orbit around the Sun will carry it to its closest point to the Sun – its perihelion – at a distance of 0.31 AU from the Sun.

Unlike most of the planets, which follow almost exactly circular orbits around the Sun only varying in their distance from the Sun by a few percent, Mercury has a significantly elliptical orbit.

Its distance from the Sun varies between 0.307 AU at perihelion (closest approach to the Sun), and 0.467 AU at aphelion (furthest recess from the Sun). This variation, of over 50%, means that its surface receives over twice as much energy from the Sun at perihelion as compared to aphelion.

Events | August 20, 2019
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