Eclipse, Comet, Full Moon All Coming Friday Night

February 9, 2017

Skywatchers will enjoy a rare space triple-header Friday night and early Saturday morning: A “penumbra” lunar eclipse during the full “snow” moon — and the flyby of a comet.

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Penumbral lunar eclipse

Eagle-eyed skywatchers will see a “penumbral” lunar eclipse Friday evening during the full moon.

Not as spectacular — or noticeable — as a total lunar eclipse, this rather subtle phenomenon occurs when the moon moves through the outer part of Earth’s shadow (known as the penumbra), according to EarthSky.org.

The outer shadow of the Earth blocks part — but not all — of the sun’s rays from reaching the moon, making it appear slightly darker than usual.

The exact moment of the penumbral eclipse is 7:43 p.m. ET (6:43 p.m. CT, 5:43 p.m. MT and 4:43 p.m. PT), NASA said.

The eclipse will be visible from Europe, Africa, western Asia and eastern North and South America, NASA reports. About 35% of all eclipses are of the penumbral type.

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