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Keep watching east before dawn as moon sweeps past planets

On Wednesday morning, July 23, the moon is between the star Aldebaran and the planet Venus.  Look east before dawn.

Tonight is Jul 22, 2014

Moon Phase Courtesy U.S. Naval Observatory

If you’re an early riser, you might know that the old moon has been back in the east before dawn this week. It passes the star Aldebaran on the morning of July 22, 2014 and, by July 23, can be found poised sandwiched between Aldebaran – brightest star in the constellation Taurus the Bull – and the brightest planet Venus.

Notice that the lighted part of the moon points toward Venus. If you extend that line from the moon past Venus, you might spot Mercury. It may be visible to the eye alone about 75 to 60 minutes before sunrise. But if you have binoculars, they’ll help out immensely in your quest for Mercury!

On the morning of July 24, the moon will be near Venus – very beautiful!

Then on July 25, the moon will be right next to Mercury.

Keep watching!

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A beautiful shot of the moon near the star Aldebaran on the morning of July 22 from GregDiesel Landscape Photography.  See Aldebaran in the moon's glare?  Thank you, Greg.

Another beautiful shot of the moon near Aldebaran on the morning of July 22 from GregDiesel Landscape Photography. Thank you, Greg.

Juri Voit in Estonia caught the July 22 rising moon with noctilucent - or night-shining - clouds.  Thank you, Juri.

Juri Voit in Estonia caught the July 22 rising moon with noctilucent – or night-shining – clouds. Thank you, Juri.

Bottom line: If you’re an early riser, you might know that the old moon has been back in the east before dawn this week, passing stars and planets. Keep watching!

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