Close approach of the Moon and M44

Sunday 17th Mar 201913:31

The Moon and M44 will make a close approach, passing within 0°09′ of each other. The Moon will be 11 days old.

From London, the pair will be visible in the evening sky, becoming accessible at around 18:26 (BST) as the dusk sky fades, 45° above your south-eastern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 21:00, 58° above your southern horizon. They will continue to be observable until around 03:53, when they sink to 8° above your western horizon.

The Moon will be at mag -12.6, 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°31′ Cancer -12.6 32’51″1
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 130° from the Sun, which is in Pisces at this time of year.

This entry in the observing calendar was provided by