Close approach of the Moon and M44

Monday 21st Jan 201915:59

The Moon and M44 will make a close approach, passing within 0°16′ of each other. The Moon will be 15 days old.

From London, the pair will be visible in the morning sky, becoming accessible at around 17:47, when they rise 7° above your north-eastern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 00:40, 58° above your southern horizon. They will be lost to dawn twilight at around 07:29, 8° above your western horizon.

The Moon will be at mag -12.8, and M44 at mag 3.1, both in the constellation Cancer.

The pair 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 two objects at the moment of closest approach will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
The Moon 08h40m10s +19°23′ Cancer -12.8 33’25″2
M44 08h40m20s +19°40′ Cancer 3.1 95’00″0

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 173° from the Sun, which is in Capricornus at this time of year.

This entry in the observing calendar was provided by