The hottest party of the year is happening tonight and word on the street is that some very special guests are due to show up. You don’t need to pay a cover or show your ID to get into this shindig. All you have to do is look up to the cosmos. There you’ll see a full moon, a lunar eclipse, and a comet all boogying on the same dance floor. It’s going to be wild!
The first event of the night is the appearance of the Full Snow Moon. According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, the Native Americans gave the February moon this name because February is the snowiest month out of the year.
The Washington Post reports that the Snow Moon will show up to the party around 5:30 PM EST. As it rises over the horizon, it will enter into Earth’s outer shadow, also called the penumbral shadow. This will cause a penumbral eclipse where the moon’s bright glow will grow dimmer and grayer. The moon will stay in Earth’s penumbral shadow until around 9:55 PM EST.
The Farmer’s Almanac says that it might be hard to tell that the Snow Moon is eclipsed at all because the change in color is so slight. They recommend to take a gander at it at 7:44 PM EST. That’s when the eclipse will be at it’s peak, and you may notice that the moon is, in fact, darker than usual.
Unfortunately for those of us in the western time zones, the sky will be too light to see the eclipse happen so make sure your East Coast friends send you pictures.
After the eclipse is all partied out, its good friend Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusáková is going to show up fashionably late (around 3:00 AM EST). This comet will be the closest it’s been to Earth since 1983.
If you’re still enjoying the cosmic festivities in the wee hours of the morning, and happen to have a telescope or binoculars on hand, look to the eastern sky to check out the blue-green comet that should have a matching tail as it sweeps across the sky.
Some of us may have clouds hindering our viewing experience, but not to worry. Slooh.com will have a live feed of the eclipse and comet, so there’s no reason for any of us to miss out on the show. The Washington Post adds that astronomy experts will give a play-by-play of the action starting at 7:30 PM EST.
You guys do not want to sit this party out. Bring some friends, bring some food, and bring a good pair of binoculars. This is event that no one will be able to stop talking about.