Triple treat: Eclipse, comet, full moon all coming Friday night

The lunar surface of the snow moon, the name given to February's full moon, will be subtly shadowed by a penumbral lunar eclipse, which occurs when Earth, the sun and moon align, according to EarthSky.

While this won't be the incredible celestial event that is the solar eclipse this August, this will have to hold us over until then as we expect a penumbral eclipse this Friday night after sunset.

Will you be watching the full snow moon penumbral eclipse and Comet 45P, an event which all begins on Friday, February 10?

As the full moon climbs, it will also undergo a deep penumbral eclipse.

First, there will be the full moon known as the "snow moon". The eclipse is called a penumbral eclipse of the moon, according to NASA, and it's one of three types of lunar eclipses: total, partial and penumbral.

Basically, the external shadow of the Earth blocks part of the sun's rays from reaching the moon. At no time does a dark bite appear to be taken out of the moon. This month, we are welcoming the "snow" moon to the skies.

Full moon at Glastonbury Tor on January 17, 2017. The name comes from ancient tribes of native Americans that gave poetic, colourful names to each full moon of the year to reflect changes happening in their natural environment. Some tribes also referred to this moon as the Full Hunger Moon, since hunting and harvest were both in short supply. Rather than our mundane January, February, et cetera, they watched the year pass in a series of lovely moons, each one named for a predominate display of the season. He reports that the name Snow Moon is pretty apt, since on average February is the snowiest month in the United States. The eclipse will be at its height around 4:44 p.m. PT. This comet is only visible every five and a quarter years, so the fact that it just so happens to arrive this weekend is pretty darn cool. "Close" is a relative term here since it will still be over 7 million miles away! Look to the East-Northeast as it rises near the constellation Hercules and moves up the horizon to the East until sunrise after 6 a.m. Binoculars or a telescope will come in handy to have a better view.


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