INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – It’s a great week for space enthusiasts! Astronomers and stargazers will be treated to three celestial events on Friday night through Saturday morning.
The trifecta includes a “penumbra” lunar eclipse during the full “snow” moon and a comet flyby!
A penumbra lunar eclipse is the more subtle version of a total lunar eclipse. The mood will darken as it passes through the outer edge of the earth’s shadow, but there will never be a total black-out, according to EarthSky.
In North America, the best time to view the eclipse will be at sunset, according to EarthSky. The ideal spot to watch the eclipse is from Europe and Africa.
The Snow Moon which occurs every February coincides with the penumbra lunar eclipse this year.
What's Up for February? Look to the nighttime sky for a brighter Venus, Comet 45P and asteroid Vesta. Watch: https://t.co/nZU6PU0kHm pic.twitter.com/9Q5s02dO7f
— NASA (@NASA) February 2, 2017
Just when you thought you hit the motherlode of celestial events, there’s more! Comet 45P will makes its closest “flyby” early Saturday morning.
Comet 45P has been visible after sunset over the last two months through binoculars and telescopes, according to NASA. But you will finally be able to see it with the naked eye when it comes within 7.4 million miles of earth around 3 a.m. Saturday.