Mercury, Venus, and Neptune rise with the crescent Moon tomorrow morning

By | Published: April 1, 2019 | Last updated on May 18, 2023
Venus shines above the thin crescent Moon and the Chilean mountains along the horizon in this image captured from the European Southern Observatory’s Paranal Observatory in Cerro Paranal, Chile.
P. Horálek/ESO
Shortly after twilight begins tomorrow morning, look low in the east-southeast for Venus. The hellish planet shines brilliantly at magnitude –3.9 and pierces the growing twilight with ease.

The boiling world rises just 22 minutes before the slim crescent Moon, which will hang about 4° directly below Venus. A half-hour before sunrise, the two stand just above of the horizon.

Mercury also joins the Venus-Moon duo tomorrow morning. The innermost planet rises slightly east of the pair some 20 minutes after Venus. And as an added bonus, distant Neptune hangs less than half a degree below Mercury.

Three planets rise with the thin crescent Moon on April 2, 2019, just before the Sun clears the horizon.
However, because the planets sit so low in the sky during sunrise tomorrow, they may be hard to spot, especially for northern observers. So, get out a little early to ensure you can track down Venus before the Sun’s glare washes it away.

Though it’s especially tough to identify Mercury, it helps to start by locating Venus, then use binoculars to help track down the innermost planet.

Mercury currently shines at magnitude 0.9, while dim Neptune shines at magnitude 8.0. Though it’s technically possible to spot Neptune from an extremely dark-sky site, the fact that the planet hangs so near the horizon during twilight makes it a daunting challenge.

When viewed through a telescope this week, Venus shows a disk that appears 13″ across and about 80 percent lit. The disk of Mercury, on the other hand, spans 9.2″ and is about 30 percent lit. Finally, though the disk of Neptune is 100 percent lit, it spans just 2.2″.

For more quick and easy observing tips, check out The sky this week for March 29 to April 7.