Snow Moon Eclipse 2017: Time, Date and Perfect Spot to See It

Sky Events
Snow Moon Eclipse 2017: Time, Date and Perfect Spot to See It PHOTOGRAPH: Wikimedia Commons/Radoslaw Ziomber | Under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Snow Moon Eclipse 2017 will be a sight to behold for sky watchers. On Friday, February 10, a penumbral lunar eclipse will occur. The moon will spend more than four hours drifting through the Earth’s external shadow which will appear darker than any typical night. Sky watchers will experience a confluence of three celestial occasions on the same night. There will be a penumbral lunar eclipse, a “snow moon” and a comet.

Penumbral lunar eclipse:

The penumbral lunar eclipse comprised 35 percent of all eclipses. Sky watchers will see the penumbral eclipse during the full moon. The penumbral eclipse is not as spectacular as a total lunar eclipse. However, it is a subtle phenomenon when the moon moves through the external part of the Earth’s shadow, referred as the penumbra.

Basically, the external shadow of the Earth blocks part of the sun’s rays from reaching the moon. Hence, it will appear darker than the usual light it emits. The phenomena will occur at 7:43 p.m. ET, 6:43 p.m. CT, 5:43 p.m. MT and 4:43 PT. The eclipse will be seen from parts of Europe, Africa, western Asia and eastern North and South America.

Snow Moon Eclipse 2017

Every lunar eclipse requires a full moon. Each full moon has its own name. This time, the full moon’s name is dubbed as the snow moon. Giving names to every full moon dated back to the Native Americans in the northern and eastern United States. The tribes kept track of the seasons by offering unique names to each repeating full moon. Some tribes described February’s moon as the “cravings” moon, due to the fact that the severe climate condition made hunting tough. The name snow moon for February’s full moon is right on target. On average, February is the USA’s snowiest month which correlates to the name of this month’s full moon.

Comet 45P

A couple of hours after the eclipse, CBS reported another sky spectacle will come close to Earth. For the past two months, the Comet 45P showed up after sunset through binoculars and telescopes. The comet makes its closest way to Earth. Its distance is estimated to be 7.4 million miles away.

Sky watchers can catch the comet at the east side at 3 a.m. of Saturday. Experts said that it will be visible in the sky of the constellation Hercules. Binoculars or a telescope will come in handy to have a better view. Those anticipating for the event can expect an intense blue-green “head” with a tail. It will be visible in various points of the night sky within the month of February. Those who will miss it can still catch up when it returns in 2022.

Read also: From Full Wolf Moon to Full Strawberry Moon, Here’s a Guide to 2017 Moon Events