Conjunction between the Moon and M44

2018 May 20

Dominic Ford – originally published on

The Moon and M44 will make a close approach, passing within 1°38' of each other.

From London (click to change), the pair will become visible at around 21:16 (BST) as the dusk sky fades, 38° above your western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 4 hours and 55 minutes after the Sun at 01:44.

At the moment of closest approach, the Moon will be at mag -11.5, 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 08h38m50s +18°21' Cancer -11.5 32'28"4
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 68° from the Sun, which is in Taurus at this time of year.

The details of this observing event were provided courtesy of