It occurred to me to plot the EDOT in both ways and see how much they differ.
The EDOT is the thing I was puzzling over earlier, the Earth’s direction of travel, as Shannon Templeton called it, otherwise known as the Apex of the Sun’s Way.
In this picture the orange symbol is the first approximation, that is, the point 90 degrees west of the Sun. The white symbol is the direction calculated with somewhat greater accuracy to be tangent to the Earth’s orbit.
They at first weren’t easy to see (until I moved the labels), because this part of the diagram happened to be cluttered by the presence of Mars. Yes, Mars too is ahead. If you are out on Earth’s front, that is, around dawn, looking in Earth’s direction of travel, you will see Mars seeming to lead the way.
This would have been more exactly so on February 7, when Mars was at “west quadrature.” That is the term for the moment when a planet is, from our viewpoint, 90 degrees from the Sun. Orange Mars would then have been directly above the orange EDOT symbol.
Quadrature isn’t an entirely uninteresting geometrical happening. It’s half way between the planet’s utter lostness (conjunction behind the Sun, which for Mars was 2015 June 14) and its triumph (its opposition, 2016 May 22). It is when the planet gets about the widest shadow on its western side. It, along with the time when Mars will begin to rise before midnight (early March), and the stationary moment (April 17), are signs of the beginning of the planet’s season of prominence.
What is in general happening in the morning sky is that the planets are getting spread wider apart: Mercury and Venus sinking toward the Sun; Saturn and Mars getting left farther behind in the opposite direction.