The sky’s going to look a little different on Friday night, as there’s going to be a lunar eclipse, a comet and a Snow Moon all at once!
The penumbral lunar eclipse, which happens when the Sun, Earth, and Moon align in an almost straight line, will be visible from Greater Manchester, according to the experts.
As long as clouds don’t get in the way.
This type of eclipse is often mistaken for a normal full moon.
The Moon shines because its surface reflects the sun’s rays. A lunar eclipse happens when the Earth comes between the sun and the moon and blocks sunlight from directly reaching the moon.
About a third of all lunar eclipses are penumbral, and only penumbral eclipses where a large portion of the moon is in the Earth’s penumbral shadow may be detectable to observers on Earth.
— NASA (@NASA) February 2, 2017
The eclipse is due to start at 10.34pm in the UK on February 10, and will be at its best display at 12.43am on February 11.
Nasa says it’ll be visible from Europe, most of Asia, Africa and most of North America before its end at 2.53am.
There’s also a comet in the skies which will be closest to us on February 11, too.
Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková can seen from Earth every five and a quarter years. It’s named after the astronomers who discovered it in 1948 – Minoru Honda, Antonín Mrkos, and ?udmila Pajdušáková.
The closest approach will be at a distance of 0.08au, according to Comet Watch.
The comet is expected to reach magnitude 6.5, by which time will be visible from midnight onwards in the constellation of Hercules.
And astrologers are also interested in the snow moon, which will be seen on Friday night.
The full moon in February is known as the ‘Snow Moon’, as it’s usually the month of heavy snows.
From moonrise at 4.44pm on Friday, the Snow Moon will be in the sky until 7.30am on Saturday.
Plenty of reasons to look up this week.