Mercury began this morning apparition following its inferior conjunction between Earth and Sun on 2014 JUN 19. This is a moderately good apparition for northern hemisphere observers.
Mercury resumed apparent direct motion on JUL 01. Its greatest western elongation was reached on JUL 12 at 20.9°. By the standard of 30 minutes before sunrise, it attained its highest altitude of 8.9° for Chicagoland observers on JUL 17. That same morning it appeared in dichotomy (50% illuminated like a Half Moon). Before then it appeared as a crescent and afterward as gibbous. While increasing in brightness, it will fall to superior conjunction behind the Sun on AUG 08.
Mercury will appear near Pollux on JUL 29.
NOTE: Event dates are for North American Central Time at those moments nearest to 30 minutes before sunrise for Chicagoland.