The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.

Close approach of the Moon and M44

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The Moon and M44 will make a close approach, passing within a mere 16.9 arcminutes of each other. The Moon will be 15 days old.

From Ashburn , the pair will be visible in the morning sky, becoming accessible around 19:10, when they reach an altitude of 16° above your eastern horizon. They will then reach their highest point in the sky at 00:49, 70° above your southern horizon. They will be lost to dawn twilight around 06:20, 17° above your western horizon.

Begin typing the name of a town near to you, and then select the town from the list of options which appear below.

The Moon will be at mag -12.8; and M44 will be at mag 3.1. Both objects will lie in the constellation Cancer.

They will be close enough to fit within the field of view of a telescope, but will also be visible through a pair of binoculars.

A graph of the angular separation between the Moon and M44 around the time of closest approach is available here.

The positions of the pair at the moment of closest approach will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
The Moon 08h40m10s 19°23'N Cancer -12.8 33'25"2
M44 08h40m20s 19°40'N Cancer 3.1 0"0

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 173° from the Sun, which is in Capricornus at this time of year.

The sky on 21 Jan 2019

The sky on 21 January 2019
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

15-day old moon
Waning Gibbous


15 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:14 11:58 16:41
Venus 04:06 09:03 13:59
Moon 16:48 00:20 07:46
Mars 10:35 16:56 23:17
Jupiter 04:18 09:05 13:51
Saturn 06:19 11:05 15:51
All times shown in EST.


The circumstances of this event were computed using the DE430 planetary ephemeris published by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

This event was automatically generated by searching the ephemeris for planetary alignments which are of interest to amateur astronomers, and the text above was generated based on an estimate of your location.

Image credit

The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.





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