The Moon and M44 will make a close approach, passing within a mere 16.2 arcminutes of each other. The Moon will be 14 days old.
From Ashburn, the pair will be visible in the evening sky, becoming accessible around 18:07 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 24° above your eastern horizon. They will then reach their highest point in the sky at 23:00, 70° above your southern horizon. They will continue to be observable until around 05:26, when they sink below 8° above your western horizon.
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 coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 158° from the Sun, which is in Aquarius at this time of year.
|The sky on 17 February 2019|
13 days old
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.
The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.