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 1°17' of each other. The Moon will be 19 days old.

From Washington, the pair will be visible in the morning sky, becoming accessible around 21:15, when they rise to an altitude of 7° above your eastern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 03:39, 72° above your southern horizon. They will be lost to dawn twilight around 07:20, 39° 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 at mag 3.1, both in the constellation Cancer.

The pair will be too widely separated to fit 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 two objects at the moment of closest approach will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
The Moon 08h41m20s +20°56' Cancer -12.6 32'02"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 135° from the Sun, which is in Ophiuchus at this time of year.

The sky on 15 December 2019
Sunrise
07:39
Sunset
17:16
Twilight ends
18:50
Twilight begins
06:05

19-day old moon
Waning Gibbous

85%

19 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:33 11:27 16:22
Venus 09:55 14:43 19:31
Moon 21:17 03:23 10:37
Mars 04:45 09:57 15:08
Jupiter 08:21 13:08 17:56
Saturn 09:28 14:20 19:12
All times shown in MST.

Source

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.

Image credit

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

Washington

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

37.13°N
113.51°W
MDT

Color scheme