In early January, the smallest and most elusive of the naked-eye planets is prominent in the predawn sky, reaching greatest western elongation on January 12, when it rises more than 90 minutes before dawn. Mercury then begins slowly orbiting around to the far side of the Sun from Earth, and as it retreats toward the Sun's glow, it passes 0.2° from Mars on January 27. After disappearing from view, it reaches superior conjunction on Feb 28, then moves around to the Sun's eastern side, gradually becoming visible in the evening sky by mid-March and reaching greatest eastern elongation on March 24.
Of the Moon's three close encounters with Mercury this season, only the one on the morning of January 9 is separated enough from the Sun to be seen, although the razor-thin sliver of the waning crescent Moon will be a challenge to spot in the twilight. The passes on February 8 and March 10 are even closer to the Sun and are both lost in the glare.