Conjunction between the Moon and M44

2017 Dec 7

Dominic Ford – originally published on

The Moon and M44 will make a close approach, passing within 2°23' of each other.

From London (click to change), the pair will be visible in the morning sky. They will become accessible at around 20:41, when they rise 7° above your north-eastern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 03:36, 58° above your southern horizon. They will be lost to dawn twilight at around 07:25, 35° above your western horizon.

At the moment of closest approach, the Moon will be at mag -12.6, 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 08h38m20s +17°37' Cancer -12.6 32'40"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 127° from the Sun, which is in Ophiuchus at this time of year.

The details of this observing event were provided courtesy of