Tonight’s skies – the Snow Moon, a penumbral lunar eclipse and the New Year Comet. Weatherwise I think this will all be very ‘hit and miss’, as the Met’s forecast currently shows partially clear/cloudy skies for tonight.
February’s full moon, known as the Snow Moon, is due to rise at 4.44pm on Friday and will set at 07.30am on Saturday. February’s full Moon is traditionally called the Full Snow Moon because usually, the heaviest snows fall in February.
People across the Americas, Europe, Africa and most of Asia should be able to catch a glimpse of the penumbral lunar eclipse. Here in the UK, you might be able to see a subtle shadowing of the moon as the lunar eclipse begins at 10.34pm tonight, and it’s thought that the lunar eclipse will peak at 12.43am before drawing to an end at about 2.53am in the early hours of Saturday.
The New Year comet has been visible around the world since the end of last year and was seen on New Year’s Eve – Comet 45P was discovered in 1948 and named after the three astronomers – Moniru Honda, Antonín Mrkos, and Ľudmila Pajdušáková. From midnight on Friday, look out for the comet as it is due to make its closest approach to Earth on February 11 – when it will be at 0.08 Astronomical Units (7.4 million miles) away. It’ll be visible in the morning sky in the constellation Hercules and then passes through the constellations Corona Borealis (the Northern Crown), Boötes (the Herdsman), Canes Venatici (Boötes’ hunting dogs) and Ursa Major.
~ Shanti ~