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 M45

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The Moon and M45 will make a close approach, passing within a mere 11.6 arcminutes of each other. The Moon will be 17 days old.

From Ashburn , the pair will be visible in the morning sky, becoming accessible around 20:51, when they reach an altitude of 12° above your eastern horizon. They will then reach their highest point in the sky at 03:04, 75° above your southern horizon. They will be lost to dawn twilight around 06:40, 42° above your western horizon.

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The Moon will be at mag -12.7; and M45 will be at mag 1.3. Both objects will lie in the constellation Taurus.

They will be close enough to fit within the field of view of a telescope, but will also be visible to the naked eye or through a pair of binoculars.

A graph of the angular separation between the Moon and M45 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 03h47m10s 24°17'N Taurus -12.7 32'45"4
M45 03h47m30s 24°06'N Taurus 1.3 0"0

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 146° from the Sun, which is in Virgo at this time of year.

The sky on 19 Oct 2024

The sky on 19 October 2024
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

17-day old moon
Waning Gibbous


17 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 08:27 13:40 18:52
Venus 10:25 15:13 20:00
Moon 19:01 02:27 10:07
Mars 23:37 06:58 14:20
Jupiter 21:15 04:36 11:58
Saturn 16:39 22:14 03:48
All times shown in EDT.


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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