During the predawn hours of 2/27/14 you will see a beautiful pairing of the waning crescent Moon and elusive Mercury. Yesterday it was Venus and the Moon dancing in the sky with Venus being covered by the Moon in some parts of the globe.
This will be a good photo-op as there will be Earthshine on the Moon - the grayish unlit portion of the Moon. Just mount your camera on a tripod and take several pics at ISO 200 to start using a shutter delay to minimize camera jitter. The Earthshine will be quite visible as the Moon is closest (perigee) to the Earth for this lunation on the 27th.
It has been stated that only .1% of all of humanity has ever seen Mercury AND recognized it as a planet. That is because Mercury is always close to the Sun and moves quickly in the sky day to day. But use the Moon as a guide as you can see in the illustration below to join that elusive club of Mercury spotters.
You need a clear horizon and binoculars will help. Just spot the Moon and look below to find yellowish-white Mercury.
Good luck and clear skies.
Sky Guy in Cold VA
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