Jennifer is geeking out, while Bill’s hiding in his panic room! Snow Full Moon, An eclipse and a comet! It’s a triple treat for skywatchers tonight. A penumbral lunar eclipse, full “snow” moon and comet will all be visible in the night sky. The “snow” moon refers to a name Native Americans gave to February’s full moon. Although not as cool as a total lunar eclipse, the penumbral eclipse occurs when the moon moves through the outer part of Earth’s shadow, which happens to occur during this year’s snow moon. And if that wasn’t enough, a comet will fly through the stars a few hours after the eclipse.
First, the “snow moon” ill pass through the edge of the Earth’s shadow, which is called the penumbra. During this “full snow moon eclipse,” the moon will be completely shaded, making the change easier to see, although it won’t stand out as much as a typical lunar eclipse when the moon passes deep into the heart of Earth’s shadow, called the umbra, and turns a ruddy color. Then comet 45P will be visible around 3 AM in the eastern sky. You’ll need binoculars or a small telescope to see it. The comet comes closest to Earth on Saturday, when the object will pass just 7.4 million miles from Earth.