Mercury reaches its Greatest Western Elongation, which means its maximum separation from the Sun. However, two things conspire to make the nearest planet to the Sun almost impossible to see. The Earth is tilting more toward the Sun as summer approaches, causing our view of the planets’ orbits to lower toward the horizon. In addition Mercury’s tilted orbit shifts it even lower.

While the King and the Queen, Cepheus and Cassiopeia languish near the northern horizon, Draco, the Dragon has slithered higher into the northeast. Though his stars aren’t overly bright, look for his tail starting between the Big and Little Dippers, then curving around the Little Dipper to the right and down.

With Mother’s Day tomorrow, look to the southern skies, where you’ll find the constellation Virgo, often connected to the Greek goddess of agriculture, Demeter, and the mother of Persphone. Demeter is overjoyed each Spring as her daughter returns from the Underworld, and celebrates by bringing the natural world back to life.