Astronomy fanatics, you’re in luck. We’re going to experience three incredible phenomena on February 10: the Penumbral lunar eclipse, Snow Moon, and the New Year Comet! Here’s how you can watch every single minute of the beautiful event.
1. Penumbral lunar eclipse
The Penumbral eclipse occurs when the sun, moon, and earth are in a straight line. The Earth blocks some of the sun hitting the moon, and casts a shadow over the moon — the penumbra. The rest of the moon gets its full amount of sunlight, and is often though to be a full moon because of the small size of the penumbra. It is happening during a full moon this time around, though (more on that below)!
The eclipse will begin at 5:34pm ET on Friday, February 10, peak at 7:43pm, and end at 9:53pm. It will be visible from Europe, Africa, and most of Asia and North America. There’s no need for a telescope to view the eclipse; just get yourself to somewhere with a clear view of the sky and take it all in!
2. New Year Comet
You really don’t want to miss this comet, because it won’t be back until 2022! Who wants to wait that long? The New Year comet, so-called because its journey started at the end of 2016, is formally called 45P/Honda – Mrkos – Pajdušáková. The comet will be closest to Earth on February 11, though also visible on February 10, when it reaches 7.4 million miles from Earth.
If you want to check it out, grab your binoculars early in the morning of the 11th and look toward the Hercules constellation. Comet 45P will then travel through the constellations Northern Crown, the Herdsman, Boötes’ Hunting Dogs, and Ursa Major.
3. Snow Moon
The Snow Moon is the second full moon of 2017 (the first on January 12). It’s name comes from the fact that February is generally the month with the most snowfall of the year. The moon will rise at 5:18pm ET on February 10 and set at 6:33am ET on February 11.
HollywoodLifers, will you be watching the penumbral lunar eclipse? Tell us in the comments!