Moon near Mercury on October 23 and 24

Moon near Mercury: Chart of almost vertical green ecliptic line, Mercury near horizon and 2 positions of thin crescent moon.
The waning crescent moon near Mercury floats above the horizon in morning twilight on October 23, 2022. On the following morning, the moon lies near Mercury just above the horizon. Moreover, the beautiful glow on the unlit portion of the moon is earthshine. Chart via John Jardine Goss/ EarthSky.

Moon near Mercury on October 23 and 24

Mercury is nearing the end of its best morning apparition for the Northern Hemisphere. But from the Southern Hemisphere, Mercury barely peeks above the horizon this month so it might no longer be visible.

If you haven’t found Mercury yet, the moon can guide you to this elusive planet on the mornings of October 23 and 24, 2022. The innermost planet will be near the waning crescent moon those mornings and heading toward new moon on October 25. Find an unobstructed horizon in the sunrise direction, and look for the moon and Mercury to pop out in the morning twilight about 30 minutes before sunrise. Mercury will be shining bright at -1.1 magnitude.

Also, don’t dawdle when searching for the pair on October 24. Because the slender crescent moon and Mercury will quickly be lost in the morning light. They are four degrees above the horizon about 30 minutes before sunrise.

To get a precise view from your location, try Stellarium online.

How to spot the moon and Mercury

Given clear skies and an unobstructed horizon, chances are that you’ll see both the moon and Mercury with the eye alone. The crescent moon will be thicker and brighter on October 23 but further from Mercury that morning. Keep in mind that the illuminated side of the crescent moon will be pointing right at Mercury.

Despite Mercury’s brilliance, Mercury still sits rather close to the horizon before sunrise and must contend with the glow of morning twilight. If you can’t see Mercury with the unaided eye, try your luck with binoculars.

Also, look for a beautiful glow on the unlit portion of the crescent moon. It is light reflected from Earth and called earthshine.

Bottom line: On the morning of October 23, 2022, the lit side of the crescent moon points to Mercury near the horizon. Then the next morning – October 24, 2022 – the moon is very near Mercury.

For more great observing events in the coming weeks, visit EarthSky’s night sky guide

October 21, 2022

Like what you read?
Subscribe and receive daily news delivered to your inbox.

Your email address will only be used for EarthSky content. Privacy Policy
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

More from 

Marcy Curran

View All