Comet, full moon and eclipse to highlight sky Friday - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Comet, full moon and eclipse to highlight sky Friday

Source: NOAA Source: NOAA
Source: NASA Source: NASA

We will have a rare treat on Friday as a comet and eclipse coincide with February’s full moon. The penumbral lunar eclipse is only partly visible in the Mid-South, but the best viewing time will be during moon rise at 5:34 p.m. Friday. The eclipse will peak at 6:43 p.m. This type of eclipse isn’t very popular because the moon only moves through the outermost portion of Earth’s shadow.

Since the moon will be passing through Earth’s shadow, the full moon won’t appear as bright. This will actually be a good thing for stargazers because a bright moon actually makes it harder to see  comets and stars. Comet 45P will be making its closest pass to earth on Friday night and early Saturday morning. This particular comet hasn’t passed by the earth since 2011 and is said to have a green tail. We recommend using binoculars or a telescope to get the best view of this trifecta.

FRIDAY SKY GAZING FORECAST: Although there will be a few passing clouds, it will be clear enough to get a nice view of the eclipse and the comet. It will be mild with temperatures only in the mid 50s overnight. 

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