Friday's full moon promising a treat for skygazers
Friday's full moon promising a treat for skygazers
Weekend To Bring Comet & 'Snow Moon' Eclipse, But Eagle Eye Needed
11 February, 2017, 00:50
However, it is possible that many viewers may not notice a dramatic effect because astronomers state that in this case the moon would just appear slightly dimmer than usual, but would bear no other sign of the eclipse. He said that a lunar eclipse occurs because Earth is illuminated by the sun, so it casts a shadow away from the sun. According to Space.com, it is a minor eclipse known as a penumbral lunar eclipse, instead of a full umbral eclipse in which the moon passes deep into the Earth's shadow and has a red or blood orange tint. "The Full Snow Moon Eclipse" will broadcast on Feb. 10 at 5:30 p.m. EST (2030 GMT), and "Cruise the Galaxy with Comet 45P" will broadcast the same night at 10:30 p.m. EST (0330 GMT Feb. 11).
Unfortunately, much of the U.S. East Coast is forecasted to be blanketed by clouds. Most of North America will be able to see the lunar event at moonrise, while areas farthest to the east including ME will be able to view the entire eclipse as the moon makes its way across the sky.
A penumbral lunar eclipse at moonrise will be followed by an opportunity to view a small comet in the early morning hours Saturday. Umbral eclipses, when the moon enters the umbral shadow partly or completely, are easy to see, even with the unaided eye. Of the three types of lunar eclipses that exist, a penumbral is most hard to spot.
This is the closest passing of a comet to earth since 1983.
Unlike a total eclipse or a partial eclipse, a penumbral eclipse is very subtle. The exact moment of the eclipse is 7:43 Friday evening.
Comet 45P, meanwhile, will zoom past Earth early Saturday morning. Look west in the sky and you'll be able to see it in the constellation Hercules. It will have a bright blue-green head with a tail. Eastern Time. However, the greenish comet will be visible only by binoculars and telescope.
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