A full moon, lunar eclipse and comet may all be visible on Friday. Here's how to see them.

A full moon, lunar eclipse and comet may all be visible on Friday. Here's how to see them.
A faint shadow from the Earth is cast over part of the Moon during a penumbral lunar eclipse, seen from Manila, Philippines. On Feb. 10, a partial eclipse and comet 45P will share the sky.
Source: Bullit Marquez/AP
A faint shadow from the Earth is cast over part of the Moon during a penumbral lunar eclipse, seen from Manila, Philippines. On Feb. 10, a partial eclipse and comet 45P will share the sky.
Source: Bullit Marquez/AP

A full moon, lunar eclipse and a comet may all be visible to much of the world Friday night if the skies are clear.

Early in the night, the snow moon will pass into the Earth's penumbra, shading part of it. A few hours later, the bright green comet 45P will shoot past the Earth.

Though penumbral eclipses are typically not as noticeable as total lunar eclipses, the moon is expected to pass so deeply into the Earth's shadow that it will appear far darker than usual

The green comet, which visits our neck of the solar system every five years, will whiz within 7.7 million miles of Earth at a speedy clip of about 14.2 miles per second. 

Most of the world — except for Australia, New Zealand, parts of East Asia and Hawaii — will be able to see the eclipse. 

How to watch 

A snow moon rises above Anchorage, Alaska, in 2015. This year, the February full moon will also feature a penumbral eclipse and an appearance by comet 45P.
Source: Dan Joling/AP

Shortly after February's full moon peaks, it will enter the Earth's penumbra and pass through it for about four hours. On the East Coast, the lunar eclipse will first appear around 6:14 p.m. Eastern, according to a statement by Alan MacRobert and Kelly Beatty, senior editors at Sky & Telescope. It will reach mid-eclipse at 7:44 p.m. Eastern and begin to brighten, exiting the penumbra just before 10 p.m. Eastern.

MacRobert advises viewers to start watching the sky about 90 minutes before mid-eclipse, right around the time the penumbra becomes visible.

Comet 45P will be closest to Earth around 10:30 p.m. Eastern, according to the Washington Post. But you'll need binoculars or a telescope to see this one — it will not be visible to the naked eye.

Light pollution and tall objects and structures may also hinder viewers' ability to see the events — particularly in the western part of North America, Space.com notes, where the moon will be low on the horizon when the eclipse occurs.

Slooh, a network of observatories, will webcast the snow moon eclipse and comet beginning Friday evening, featuring expert commentary as the moon reaches mid-eclipse. 

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Eric Lutz

Eric Lutz is a staff writer at Mic. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at ericlutz@mic.com.

MORE FROM

An everyday cooking spice may help fight the most common type of cancer found in infants

Children normally suffer health risks from chemo or other forms of cancer treatment, but this spice could help.

Facebook is rumored to be working on a smart speaker — here’s everything we know

Imagine a world where you can hear your Facebook comments on your smart speaker.

There’s now a cochlear implant processor made to work with your iPhone

It's allegedly the first in the world of its kind.

Scientists edited mice brains so that they live longer — and humans could be next

Scientists managed to extend mouse life spans by up to 15%.

You’ll be able to watch the solar eclipse from ridiculous heights, thanks to these balloons

Watch the eclipse live, anywhere, as if you're in space.

Scientists say you should play video games on your breaks at work

Somebody file an expense report for an Xbox, pronto.

An everyday cooking spice may help fight the most common type of cancer found in infants

Children normally suffer health risks from chemo or other forms of cancer treatment, but this spice could help.

Facebook is rumored to be working on a smart speaker — here’s everything we know

Imagine a world where you can hear your Facebook comments on your smart speaker.

There’s now a cochlear implant processor made to work with your iPhone

It's allegedly the first in the world of its kind.

Scientists edited mice brains so that they live longer — and humans could be next

Scientists managed to extend mouse life spans by up to 15%.

You’ll be able to watch the solar eclipse from ridiculous heights, thanks to these balloons

Watch the eclipse live, anywhere, as if you're in space.

Scientists say you should play video games on your breaks at work

Somebody file an expense report for an Xbox, pronto.