An astronomer’s dream is occurring this weekend. Three magnificent celestial events will happen from the evening of February 10 to the morning of February 11.
A snow moon, a lunar eclipse, and a comet will all appear in the sky within 24 hours. Here’s an explanation of each event and what time you should “look up” so that you don’t miss a thing!
A snow moon is a full moon that takes place in the month of February. Full moons during this month received the nickname “snow moon” because it’s one of the snowiest months. Native tribes in North America gave it this nickname. According to Space.com, the snow moon will peak at 7:33 p.m. EST.
A lunar eclipse is when the sun, Earth, and moon align so that the Earth casts a shadow over the moon. During a total eclipse, the moon appears red because of the way light scatters in the sky. But this will be a penumbral lunar eclipse, meaning that the outer part of Earth’s shadow will make the moon look darker than usual. According to NASA, the eclipse will occur at 7:43 p.m. EST.
A comet is an object made of dust and ice that leaves a stream of gas (the tail) as it orbits the sun. At 7.4 million miles away, Comet 45P has been visible since around New Years but it will be closest to the Earth on Saturday morning around 3 a.m. EST. At that time, look up to the east near the Hercules constellation and you should be able to see a blue-green mass with a tail moving through the sky.