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Tomorrow Will Bring a Full Snow Moon, a Lunar Eclipse, and a Comet… All on the Same Day

Thursday, February 9, 2017 14:16
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Tomorrow we set to see a full snow moon and a lunar eclipse and a comet — all on the same day.

Full moons have names for each month, and February’s is typically called the “snow moon” because February is the month that typically gets the most snow. Because the lunar moon cycle is 29 days, every 19 years February has no full moon at all.

Not true for this year. Not only will February have a “snow moon,” but on the same day a penumbral lunar eclipse is set to occur. This happens when the sun, earth, and moon align in a straight line.

It’ll be visible to most of the world (but apparently Hawaii is going to miss out):

The moon will first enter Earth’s shadow at 5:32 p.m. EST (2232 GMT), and its moonlight will slowly but surely grow dimmer for a little over 2 hours. After the eclipse peaks at 7:43 p.m. EST (0034 GMT on Feb. 11), the bright glow of the full moon will take about another 2 hours to return to normal. The moon will be completely outside of the penumbral shadow by 9:55 p.m. EST (0255 GMT on Feb. 11).

Interestingly, just 10 minutes after the full moon peaks, so will the eclipse.

Also on the same day, Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková, a periodic comet discovered in 1948 dubbed recently “The New Year Comet,” is scheduled to pass and be visible to the naked eye like it is every five years.

The fact that these three events are happening on the same day is causing some people to completely freak out.

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