Don't miss Mercury shine with the crescent moon in tonight's sky!

Mercury and the moon (lower right) portrayed close together in Earth's sky on May 2, 2022.
Mercury and the moon (lower right) portrayed close together in Earth's sky on May 2, 2022. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The moon will point the way to the usually elusive Mercury tonight (May 2).

You can catch the two celestial bodies to the west, about 45 minutes after sunset, according to NASA (opens in new tab). Mercury will be a full 10 degrees from the horizon, representing one of the last chances to see an evening planet with the naked eye until August.

The conjunction will also feature some bright stars, NASA noted. The red giant Aldebaran will appear just south of the moon at about the same brightness as Mercury, and the red giant star Betelgeuse will be farther away to the upper left of the grouping.

If you're looking for binoculars or a telescope to see planets in the night sky, check our our guide for the best binoculars deals and the best telescope deals now. If you need equipment, consider our best cameras for astrophotography and best lenses for astrophotography to prepare for the next planet sight.

Related: The brightest planets in the night sky: How to see them (and when)

See Mercury and the moon?

If you take a photograph of Saturn, Mercury and the moon let us know! You can send images and comments in to spacephotos@space.com.

While the evening sky is rapidly becoming bereft of planets, there's an epic lineup arriving in the morning sky. Between late June and early July, five planets will be visible from Earth's perspective: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. The moon will also join the show a couple of times.

The last time five planets appeared simultaneously was in 2020 and, before that, in 2016 and 2005, Michelle Nichols, director of public observing at Chicago's Adler Planetarium, told Live Science.

Groupings of worlds are relatively common (albeit with fewer at the same time) because the planets, moon and sun all share the same approximate pathway, called the ecliptic.

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Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell, Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022. She was contributing writer for Space.com (opens in new tab) for 10 years before that, since 2012. Elizabeth's reporting includes an exclusive with Office of the Vice-President of the United States, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and (soon) a Bachelor of History from Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science since 2015. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: https://qoto.org/@howellspace