Tomorrow morning – October 10, 2015 – you can still see the moon and planets in the east before dawn! Look in the direction of sunrise …
The sky chart above only shows the waning crescent moon and the planets Venus and Jupiter, because that’s all the casual sky watcher is likely to notice at morning dawn. It’ll take more of an effort to catch the planets Mars and Mercury, plus Regulus, the constellation Leo’s brightest star.
Here’s how to see Mars. Get up before dawn, or about 90 minutes (or more) before sunrise. You should be able to view ruddy Mars in between Venus and Jupiter with the eye alone at that dark hour. If you get up after the onset of morning twilight, try looking for Mars with binoculars, if you have them. Look at the earthshine illuminating the dark side of the moon, too – with the unaided eye or binoculars.
Here’s how to enjoy Regulus’ constellation Leo the Lion. Try to pick out the distinctive shape of the Lion’s head and mane. Regulus, which is the brightest star in Leo, dots a backwards question mark pattern of stars. See it? You can if you look for it. This pattern is known as The Sickle.
On the morning of October 10, the planet Venus temporarily serves to dot Leo’s famous Sickle star pattern, below Regulus.
Here’s how to see see Mercury. Look for Mercury rather low in the east just as darkness begins to give way to dawn. Look too soon and Mercury will be under the horizon. Look too late and this world will be obscured by morning twilight. Try your luck somewhere around 90 to 60 minutes before sunrise.
Remember, binoculars always help out with any Mercury search.
Bottom line: If you’re blessed with clear skies, the morning of October 10, 2015 might present you with a superb view of the waning crescent moon (with earthshine), four morning planets, a bright zodiacal star and the constellation Leo the Lion. Wow!