Lunar eclipse, rare comet and full 'Snow' moon all coming Friday

By: Fiza Pirani , The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Updated:

Stargazers everywhere are gearing up for a celestial triple treat coming Friday evening.

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The rare phenomenon will involve a rare comet, lunar eclipse and “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.

On Friday, Feb. 10, you won’t see a dark bite taken out of the moon like you would in a partial eclipse, but observers may notice a shading on the moon’s face, according to space experts at Earthsky.org.

Like any other lunar eclipse, look up and you’ll also see a full moon, nicknamed the “Snow” moon. This is because each full moon has a different name for its corresponding month and February is the month with the highest average rates of snowfall.

According to Bustle, this will be 2017’s second full moon.


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Most of the U.S. will be able to catch the eclipse during Friday’s moonrise, according to NASA.

The exact moment of the penumbral eclipse is 7:43 p.m. E.T., and it’s expected to last for over four hours.

A few hours after the eclipse, a rare comet named Comet 45P will make its closest approach to Earth, but that still means it will be 7.4 million miles away.

Got binoculars? According to NASA, the comet is currently visible with binoculars over the western horizon just after sunset. But even the naked eye may be able to see a blue-green “head” and fan-shaped tail if the skies are clear.

According to Jane Houston Jones, from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Comet45 can be seen from Earth every 5.25 years, but stargazers will have to wait until 2022 to see it again.
 

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