Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Tonight's Sky for October 22: Old Moon Meets Mercury


How thin of a Moon have you seen? How about one that's just barely a day before New and only 2% illuminated? Well, if you have never seen a Moon this thin, now's your chance to do so as such a Moon will be making an appearance in this morning's sky just before sunrise.

To see the Moon, you'll need a good Eastern horizon. How good? One with less than 3 degrees of obstruction. To simulate this, hold two fingers vertically at arm's length to simulate 3 degrees. Hint: if you can't think of a good location off-hand, scout out one during the day. Location found, arrive there about 15 minutes before sunrise and start looking, preferably with optical aid. The bad news: you'll have to hurry because, as soon as the Sun clears the horizon, you can forget about seeing the Moon.

As an added bonus, Mercury will be below and to the left on the Moon, too.

Good luck!

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