February ‘Snow Moon’ eclipse to be really unique

February ‘Snow Moon’ eclipse to be really unique

The so-called Snow Moon on Feb 10 will be a unique full moon as it will not only coincide with a special lunar eclipse but also a pale green comet that will streak by Earth.

Astronomers have predicted that the Moon will spend more than four hours coasting through the outer shadow of Earth, called the penumbra. The penumbral lunar eclipse will thus make the full moon’s bright, glowing façade to look somewhat dark.

The Moon will first enter the planet’s shadow at 5:32 p.m. EST (2232 GMT), and the eclipse will peak at 7:43 p.m. EST (0034 GMT). By 9:55 p.m. EST (0255 GMT), the Moon will be ttally out of the penumbral shadow.

In a statement, Sky & Telescope senior editor Alan MacRobert said, “The outer part of Earth's penumbra is so pale that you won’t notice anything until the moon’s edge has slid at least halfway in, so start looking about 90 minutes before mid-eclipse.”

The lunar eclipse will be visible from almost all nations of the world, with the exception of New Zealand, Australia and the East Asian nations along the Pacific coast. Sky gazers across Asia, Europe, Africa and North America will be able to feast their eyes on the lunar eclipse.

Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusáková will make its closest approach to our planet at around 10:30 p.m. Eastern Time. However, the greenish comet will be visible only by binoculars and telescope.


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