Conjunction between the Moon and M44

2018 Dec 25

Dominic Ford – originally published on

The Moon and M44 will make a close approach, passing within 0°35′ of each other.

From London (click to change), the pair will be visible in the morning sky. They will become accessible at around 19:31, when they rise 7° above your north-eastern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 02:26, 58° above your southern horizon. They will be lost to dawn twilight at around 07:38, 22° above your western horizon.

At the moment of closest approach, the Moon will be at mag -12.7, and M44 at mag 3.1, both in the constellation Cancer.

The pair will be a little too widely separated to fit comfortably within the field of view of a telescope, but will be visible to the naked eye or a through 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 08h39m40s +19°24′ Cancer -12.7 33’01″8
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 145° from the Sun, which is in Sagittarius at this time of year.

The details of this observing event were provided courtesy of