Stargazers' delight: Lunar eclipse, comet, and 'Snow Moon' in one incredible night
Feb 11 2017 by Elias Hubbard
The lunar eclipse. Tonight's should really be known as the "lame" lunar eclipse. However, the Midwest and states in the Pacific may miss out on the beginning stages of the eclipse. The face of the moon will slowly darken several shades over time as it passes through the penumbra, the more diffuse area on the edge of the shadow cone.
Stargazers will be treated to three astronomical events, when a lunar eclipse, Snow moon and New Year comet will all appear on the same night. It was originally named by the Native Americans, who used nicknames to keep track of seasons, and who associated February with snow. Remember, the moon will have risen just prior to the eclipses full effect, so you'll to look very low in the sky by the eastern horizon to see it.
The first eclipse of the year 2017 took place on early Saturday morning leaving all the sky gazers stunned. Check it out HERE. Friday night, something different will happen, in effect. It's also sometimes called the "hunger moon". This is when the Earth casts a shadow on the Moon. For one, the light from the full moon will wash it out.
Futurecast for 7 p.m.to 8 p.m. Friday, February 10th where a break in the clouds should allow for eclipse viewing. A penumbral eclipse is much less dramatic than partial or total lunar eclipses, in which the earth's shadow blocks much or all of the moon from view. You won't be able to see it with the naked eye, you must use binoculars or a telescope. Look for the blue-green orb with a bright tail passing through the constellation Hercules at 3:00 am ET 02/11/17.
Later, the comet Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková will be making it's closest approach to Earth at 7.7 million miles.
Seeing as how these celestial phenomena aren't the easiest to spot, you may want to abscond to a dark and secluded spot.