Ever seen the planet Mercury? It's always tough to spot the planet closet to the Sun as it is never very far from the Sun.
Mercury is surprising bright to people once they actually see the golden-yellow planet and know it is Mercury. It has been said that less than 1% of humanity has seen AND recognized Mercury as a planet.
The next few days is your chance to join this exclusive club as Mercury and Venus are fairly close to one another in the pre-dawn sky. Your best chance to see the planetary pair is to find a NE horizon free of trees and buildings and use the chart below.
Sky Safari Plus Chart
Find Venus first which is bright and easy to spot. Binoculars can help you but aren't required. Once you have Venus zeroed in, look to the lower left along a slight diagonal. You should see Mercury less than a fist width from Venus.
You can start looking after 5 a.m. local and the chart show the sky in Virginia at about 5:20 a.m. local.
Try your hand at photographing the scene - a tripod and DSLR work best with fast shutter speeds.
Sky Guy in VA