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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 0°57' of each other. The Moon will be 24 days old.

From Fairfield, the pair will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 00:15 (EDT) and reaching an altitude of 66° above the south-eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 06:52.

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 -11.8; and M44 will be at mag 3.1. Both objects will lie in the constellation Cancer.

They will be a little too widely separated to fit comfortably within the field of view of a telescope, but will 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 08h41m00s +20°36' Cancer -11.8 32'04"4
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 80° from the Sun, which is in Virgo at this time of year.

The sky on 22 October 2019
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

24-day old moon
Waning Crescent


24 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 09:26 14:10 18:53
Venus 08:47 13:49 18:51
Moon 00:29 07:47 15:06
Mars 05:45 11:35 17:25
Jupiter 11:36 16:12 20:49
Saturn 13:14 17:53 22:32
All times shown in EDT.


The circumstances of this event were computed using the DE405 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.

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