Friday, February 10th, marks the arrival a comet, snow moon and eclipse.
The first full moon of February, a “snow moon,” is named for what is normally a period of heavy snow, but will be immersed in a penumbral eclipse instead.
Of the three types of eclipses, the second type only occurs when the moon is completely inside Earth’s penumbral cone. Though all three types occur within distinct parts of a shadow, the first and third types are known as umbra and antumbra.
A penumbral eclipse is more difficult to spot than other types. For the best opportunity look for the event as the snow moon rises.
Night owls can spot a rare green comet around 3 a.m. ET Saturday morning. To spot the blue-green head and tail streaking through the Hercules constellation, use a telescope away from light pollution.
Photo by: The Sky Live
Comet 45P will brush past Earth about 7.4 million miles away, but after its February appearances, the Solar System body will not return until 2022.
Top Image: John Vermette, CC BY-SA
Molly Harris is a freelance writer based in Athens, Georgia. Follow her @mmollyharris