Mercury has commenced its apparition as a morning star following its inferior
conjunction between Earth and Sun on 2013 NOV 01. This should be an fine apparition
for most observers other than those south of the tropics.
All dates given here are based on early morning North American Central Time. Mercury
resumed apparent direct motion on NOV 10. On NOV 15 it was in dichotomy, i.e. 50%
illuminated like a Half Moon. Before then it appeared as a crescent and afterward
gibbous. By the standard of 30 minutes before sunrise, it attained its highest altitude
of 12.1° for Chicagoland observers on NOV 17. It’s greatest western elongation of
19.5° was reached on NOV 18. While increasing in brightness, it will fall to superior
conjunction behind the Sun on DEC 28.
Mercury will appear to pass near Antares on DEC 11.