Tonight (Friday 10th February) the sky is going to be a magical one! If you find looking into the night sky interesting then tonight is one night you don’t want to miss.
tonight stargazers will be treated to three pretty incredible astronomical events, yep you read it right not one but THREE!
What are the three events?
- A penumbral lunar eclipse.
- A snow moon.
- The new year comet will zoom past us in what will be the closest it’s been to Earth since 2011.
What is a penumbral eclipse and when can I see it?
When earth passes between the sun and the moon it blocks out the sun’s light, as we all know the reason we on earth see the moon is down to the sun’s light reflecting off of the moon so when earth comes between the two the suns light gets blocked which means we a a shadow forms on the moon, us on earth though only see it as the moon being a little less bright than usual. Tonight however, the moon will be significantly duller than previous eclipses due to the whole of the moon passing through the earths penumbra and as a result the lack of brightness with the moon will be more noticeable.
Where can I see this memorable event?
If you live in Europe, North America or parts of Africa and Asia you’re in luck! The eclipse is due to last for at least 4 hours giving you more than enough time to get that perfect photo.
What is a snow moon?
Its not really anything special. its simply named snow moon due to the fact February is usually the snowiest month for America. Its not just February’s full moon that has been given a name, every full moon has a name and here they are:
- January’s full moon is called Old Moon.
- February’s full moon is called Snow Moon.
- March’s full moon is Sap Moon.
- April’s moon is called Grass Moon.
- May’s full moon is called Planting Moon.
- June’s full moon is called Rose Moon.
- July’s full moon is called Thunder Moon.
- August names their full moon Grain Moon.
- September calls theirs Harvest Moon.
- October’s full moon is Hunter’s Moon..
- November’s is Frosty Moon.
- December has a full moon called Long night moon.
- Source: earthsky.org
New Year comet?
The new year comet only comes by every 5 years and people have been able to see it since December of last year. The reason it’s bigged up so much this weekend is down to the fact that its just 7.4 million miles from Earth that is in fact the closest its travelled since 2011.
At midnight tonight (GMT+0) you will be able to see it with your naked eye but only if the sky is clear and there are no street lights lighting up the sky near by. if you want to get a better view I highly recommend using binoculars as this really is a moment not to be missed.
Are you planning on checking this event out? Let me know in the comments.