Because it is the smallest planet in our solar system, only slightly larger than our Moon, it requires at least 200x magnification to see any surface features. To see Mercury, you will need an excellent telescope as well as some experience. It's best to connect with others who have telescopes so that you can use their eyes and experience to improve your own viewing skills.
In addition to a good telescope, you will need patience and a clear night with no clouds or light pollution. You can watch for signs of Mercury in the night sky and know that it is time to set up when it becomes easier to see more stars than planets.
Mercury orbits the Sun every 84 days at a distance of 40 million km, so it completes one orbit around the Sun every 87 days. Because of this close proximity to the Sun, Mercury's atmosphere is scorched by sunlight and has been reduced in size by over 95 percent. The remaining atmosphere is very thin; only 1-4 miles (1.6-8 km) above the surface.
The Earth also moves around the Sun faster than Mercury, so over a period of about 58 years we travel around the Sun once for each year spent near Mercury. This means that during these visits, Mercury will have covered approximately 50 degrees of arc on its orbit, while the Earth has covered nearly 90 degrees.
The finest telescope will have a relatively big aperture, at least 80 mm or 90 mm, for observing planets crisply and clearly. To observe planets and the moon, we recommend using a telescope with an aperture of at least 100 mm or 120 mm (120 mm is widely regarded as the "sweet spot" for astronomical viewing).
Planets are very small, even by human standards. You can see them with the unaided eye from almost anywhere on Earth if it's dark out and they're located in the sky above you. Astronomers use telescopes to see farther than what can be seen with the naked eye. A telescope allows you to look into space and see objects that would otherwise be invisible to the eye.
In order to see all the planets with your telescope, you'll want one with a large enough lens or mirror to give you a clear view of the night sky. The larger the telescope lens or mirror, the better your views will be. There are many different types of telescopes, each designed for seeing certain things in the sky well. For example, a telescope designed to see faraway galaxies also shows stars closer to home because light takes longer to reach us from beyond our galaxy. Telescopes are useful for looking at objects across vast distances via their light, which reaches us long after it left its source. Galaxies, quasars, and other distant objects cannot be seen with the unaided eye but can be observed with a telescope.
Yes, Mercury is seen without a telescope since it is one of the five brightest planets. Mercury, on the other hand, is one of the five brightest planets and one of the most hardest to view. Mercury is the nearest planet to the Sun, and only from a few angles can Earthlings see it without interference from the Sun's light.
Venus is also visible to the naked eye, but it is dimly lit up by the Sun in the evening sky. From Venus, scientists have found evidence of water vapor in its atmosphere, which confirms that it has an active surface geology.
Mars is the next planet out from the Sun and the one that people have been talking about most recently. It was once thought to have had life in its waters, but recent findings suggest that this wasn't the case. Instead, its features are more likely due to causes other than life, such as volcanoes or even snowfall. Scientists still want to know more about Mars though, so they're planning to send another mission there soon.
Jupiter is by far the biggest planet in our solar system and also one of the most interesting. It has 27 moons, which makes it more than any other planet except for Saturn. The largest moon, Jupiter, takes 12 hours to orbit the planet. All together, the Galilean Moons take up nearly half of Jupiter's radius.
Saturn has 23 moons and almost exactly half of Jupiter's mass.
You'll be able to view Jupiter in better detail with telescopes like the Celestron Nexstar 6 SE Computerized Cassegrain Telescope, which has a 6 inch aperture size. The majority of planets will now seem crisper and more detailed, and the moon's craters will be more visible. Stars beyond our galaxy will become visible with larger telescopes, such as those with 8 or 9 inch apertures.
With a large enough telescope, you should be able to see satellites around other planets, and even some asteroids moving across the sky from time to time. But these objects are rare, so don't get your hopes up too much if you don't have access to a big telescope.
The best place to look with a telescope is usually out in the middle of a dark area of the night sky where there are no clouds blocking out the stars. Have a clear, dark location away from any lights where you won't be disturbed by people walking by or vehicles driving by. Then scan the sky slowly with your telescope until you find something interesting!
There are lots of different things you can see with a telescope. You may spot galaxies far, far away from any galaxy or cluster that could contain a huge supermassive black hole at its center, for example. Or you might see planet Earth reflected in the sun's surface when it passes between us and one of the stars.
Telescopes with a diameter of 4 or 5 inches are ideal for observing solar system objects such as the planets, our Moon, and Jupiter's moons. With a scope this tiny, viewing Neptune and Uranus can be challenging, but not impossible. A telescope of this size is most likely an excellent place to start for a complete beginner. These telescopes are easy to operate, don't cost that much, and will give you many hours of enjoyment watching the planets and stars come out at night.
If you want to look further than just the Sun's surface, then you'll need something larger than 5 inches. The best place to start is with someone who knows what they're doing - either a professional astronomer or a good local bookstore. However, even a relatively small telescope will show you thousands upon thousands of stars and galaxies that cannot be seen with the unaided eye. It's one of the greatest adventures in human nature, to gaze up into the night sky and experience the magic of space firsthand.
Planets are like stars but with more atmosphere so they make clouds like we do. The trick is finding each planet individually. The first thing you should know is that there are actually two types of planets: gas planets and rocky planets. Gas planets include planets such as Jupiter and Saturn that are made of hydrogen and helium. Rocky planets include Earth and Venus which are made of iron and magnesium respectively.