Mercury, the Moon, and Assorted Stars and Planets Before Dawn

Mercury, a waning crescent Moon, and assorted other stars and bright planets as seen 30 minutes before sunrise in the eastern sky.

Mercury, a waning crescent Moon, and assorted other stars and bright planets as seen 30 minutes before sunrise in the eastern sky.

If you’re up for a weekend challenge, grab your binoculars, find a clear view down to the eastern horizon, and head out about 30 minutes before sunrise to spot fingernail-thin crescent Moon right next to the planet Mercury in the pre-dawn sky. A pair of binoculars will help you pull an image of the pair out of the brightening sky. Westward (above) this pair you will also see the planets Mars, Jupiter, and Venus in the constellation Leo. The event favors observers in the northern hemisphere, but it is also visible in the south, although the sky will be slightly brighter when Mercury emerges above the horizon.

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