Conjunction between the Moon and M44

2017 Oct 13

Dominic Ford – originally published on

The Moon and M44 will make a close approach, passing within 2°53' of each other.

From London (click to change), the pair will be visible in the dawn sky. They will rise at 00:19 (BST), 7 hours and 4 minutes before the Sun, and attain an altitude of 55° above the south-eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks at around 07:01.

At the moment of closest approach, the Moon will be at mag -11.6, 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 to the naked eye or through a pair of binoculars.

The precise positions of the Moon and M44 at the moment of closest approach will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
The Moon 08h38m00s +17°08' Cancer -11.6 31'53"9
M44 08h40m00s +19°58' Cancer 3.1 1'35"0

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 72° from the Sun, which is in Virgo at this time of year.

The details of this observing event were provided courtesy of