Mercury is the most elusive of the visible planets in the Solar System, never drifting far from the glare of the Sun, and always on the move. So you should take advantage of the upcoming weeks when Mercury will be well positioned in the sunset sky. Mercury is a small planet so it will not have the bold bright shine of Venus or Jupiter, but it will certainly stand out as a bright speck of light in the dusk sky. Look soon after sunset for a point of light that becomes increasingly bright as darkness sets in. You'll need a good, clear western horizon to see this. But take a minute some evening and spot it, since it won't be this easy again for a while.
In 2005 I began writing a column for the San Francisco Waldorf School newsletter called "The Urban Astronomer." I started this blog in 2007 as a place to archive my articles and to offer additional insights on the night sky - even if you live in a big city. In 2008 I became an occasional guest on the KFOG Morning Show, and more recently on KALW and KGO. Archived shows are posted on the blog.