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Venus and Mercury peak

January 2009: Both Mercury and its inner-planet sibling, Venus, reach greatest elongation this month. There's no better time to view these two worlds.
The International Year of Astronomy opens with Mercury and Jupiter next to each other in the southwest shortly after sunset. Both Mercury and its inner-planet sibling, Venus, reach greatest elongation this month. There's no better time to view these two worlds. Venus stands far above Mercury, and a waxing crescent Moon accompanies them ­during the year's first week.

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