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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 1°23' of each other. The Moon will be 12 days old.

From Cambridge, the pair will be visible in the evening sky, becoming accessible around 17:58 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 40° above your eastern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 21:24, 67° above your southern horizon. They will continue to be observable until around 03:57, 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 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 pair at the moment of closest approach will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
The Moon 08h41m20s +21°02' Cancer -12.6 32'30"9
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 140° from the Sun, which is in Aquarius at this time of year.

The sky on 06 March 2020
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

12-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous


12 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:19 10:46 16:13
Venus 07:47 14:41 21:34
Moon 14:12 21:36 04:12
Mars 03:11 07:42 12:13
Jupiter 03:37 08:14 12:51
Saturn 04:05 08:48 13:32
All times shown in EST.


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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