Remember the massive Supermoon last year? Well, get ready, because all you astronomy buffs are in for a celestial treat this week as three lunar events are set to take place at the weekend.
A full Snow Moon, lunar eclipse and a huge passing comet should all be visible from Earth on the night of Friday February 10.
Here’s some tips on what they are and when to spot them.
The elusive Snow Moon…
A Snow Moon is the name given to February’s full moon, as snowfall is often at its heaviest this time of year. The moon is set to rise at 10:18 pm GMT (5:18 p.m. (EST) ) on Friday. Hurry though as it will only be visible for a little over an hour.
The Lunar Eclipse…
The first of two lunar eclipses set to grace our skies this weekend will be visible from Europe, huge swathes of Asia, Africa and North America this Friday evening. If you want to get all technical, this type of eclipse is known as a penumbral eclipse as the full moon will pass into the Earth’s faint penumbral shadow.
What do all these fancy words mean? Well, according to the really smart folks at NASA, the outer part of Earth’s penumbra is so pale that you can’t detect it, so you won’t be able to see anything happening until the Moon’s edge has slid at least halfway in. Get it? All this magic will happen about 90 minutes before mid eclipse at around 12.44AM (GMT) (7:44 p.m. (EST)) on February 10.
The New Year Comet…
This huge comet actually began its long journey across the Northern hemisphere back in December, but luckily for us, it’s set to reach its closest point to Earth in the early hours of February 11.
45P/Honda–Mrkos–Pajdušáková, named after the astronomers who discovered it in 1948, is a massive mass of ice, water, stardust and rock that will look like a small fiery ball before sunrise on Friday. For the best views, grab a telescope to see its beautiful blue-green glow.