A Full Moon, Lunar Eclipse and comet all happening tonight
Skywatchers will enjoy a rare night time show that will last into early Saturday morning! It's a triple threat - a full moon, lunar ecplise and a comet all in one night!
Tonight's event is being referred to as a "Full Snow Moon Penumbral Eclipse," because of an old tradition in which each month's moon was named to describe the time of year. Not as spectacular — or noticeable — as a total lunar eclipse, this rather subtle phenomenon occurs when the moon moves through the outer part of Earth’s shadow (known as the penumbra).
The eclipse is expected to start around 5:34 p.m. ET, with the greatest ecplise occuring at 7:44 p.m. ET (4:44 p.m. PT). Expect the ecplise to last four hours and 19 minutes.
Even after the eclipse is over, it will still be a busy night in the sky. Comet 45P is set to have its closest brush with Earth tonight at 10:30 p.m. ET (7:30 p.m. PT), marking the nearest encounter in three decades. It will be "only" 7.4 million miles away.
It will be visible in the sky in the constellation Hercules and binoculars or a telescope could be helpful. Watch for a bright blue-green "head" with a tail.