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 9.2 arcminutes of each other. The Moon will be 11 days old.

From Washington, the pair will be visible in the evening sky, becoming accessible around 19:57 (MST) as the dusk sky fades, 51° above your eastern horizon. They will then reach their highest point in the sky at 22:33, 72° above your southern horizon. They will continue to be observable until around 04:57, when they sink below 7° 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 -12.6; 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°31' Cancer -12.6 32'51"1
M44 08h40m20s +19°40' Cancer 3.1 94'59"9

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 130° from the Sun, which is in Pisces at this time of year.

The sky on 17 March 2019
Sunrise
07:42
Sunset
19:42
Twilight ends
21:09
Twilight begins
06:15

11-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous

82%

11 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:16 13:18 19:19
Venus 06:05 11:20 16:35
Moon 16:13 23:13 05:22
Mars 10:04 17:07 00:10
Jupiter 02:36 07:26 12:16
Saturn 04:23 09:16 14:09
All times shown in MDT.

Source

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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Washington

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Longitude:
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37.13°N
113.51°W
MST

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