Friday, February 05, 2016
The Crescent Moon Meets Venus and Mercury this Weekend (6-7 February, 2016)
If you have been lucky enough to be following the Moon as it has been moving down the line-up of Jupiter, Mars, Saturn Venus and Mercury in the morning (the last time all five bright classical planets were aligned was in January 2005), then the crescendo is reached this weekend, when the Moon visits first Venus, and then Mercury.
It's probably best to look around an hour before local sunrise (balancing being in darker skies with Mercury being higher in the sky, and it its best with a fairly clear, level eastern horizon, but the view will be well worth it. As well, on the 7th not only is the thin crescent Moon close to Mercury, but Mercury will be highest above the horizon.
After the Moon leaves, the line up will be visible for most of the rest of February (and Venus and Mercury are closest on the 13th), so even if you miss out on the weekend, there is still time to see this lovely sight.
I've tried about 10 mornings in the last few weeks and the most I have seen has been Jupiter and sometimes Mars.
Obscured by clouds indeed :-)