Tomorrow before sunrise – October 7, 2015 – and for the next several mornings, you can’t miss the moon and sky’s two brightest planets near the waning crescent moon. Look east, the direction of sunrise. On Wednesday, from top to bottom, you’ll see the moon, Venus and Jupiter – the brightest, second-brightest and third-brightest celestial bodies of nighttime, respectively – before the sun rises.
And don’t forget to look for them on Thursday morning, October 8, too. In fact, over all of the next three mornings – the mornings of October 7, 9 and 9 – the moon will be dropping downward toward the sunrise in the eastern predawn sky, sliding past the planets.
How about this morning, October 6? Check out the photo below:
If you’re up during the predawn hours, you can also catch the planet Mars and Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation Leo the Lion, in the mix. If the twilight glare is too overwhelming by the time that you awake, you still might be able to spot Mars and Regulus with binoculars. Regulus is a touch brighter than Mars, the faintest of the bunch.
Venus is about 12 times brighter than Jupiter, but over two hundred times brighter than Regulus or Mars.
The chart below shows the predawn scene on Wednesday morning in a really dark, country sky …
Note the illuminated side of the waning crescent moon on October 7. The lit side of a waning crescent moon always points eastward, or in the direction of sunrise.
By the way, as seen from North America, the moon shines below Venus on October 9, 2015. But – if you’re in Australia – you’ll have a chance to see the moon occult, or cover over, Venus in the morning hours on October 9. Click here for more information about the occultation of Venus.
Bottom line: Watch the great morning drama, as the waning crescent moon slides toward the sunrise and swings by the morning planets over October 7, 8 and 9, 2015.