Mercury has commenced its morning apparition following its inferior conjunction between Earth and Sun on 2014 OCT 16. This apparition is a good one for observers in the tropics or northern hemisphere.
Mercury will appear in retrograde motion until OCT 25. It will be observed in dichotomy (50% illuminated like a Half Moon) on OCT 30. Before then it will appear as a crescent and afterward gibbous. By the standard of 30 minutes before sunrise, Mercury will attain its highest altitude of 11.7° for Chicagoland observers on NOV 01. Greatest Western Elongation of 18.7° will be reached on the same day. While increasing in brightness, it will fall to superior conjunction behind the Sun on DEC 08.
Mercury will appear near Spica on NOV 04. The Moon will appear to pass near Mercury on NOV 21.
NOTE: Event dates are for North American Central Time at those moments nearest to 30 minutes before sunrise for Chicagoland.