February’s full moon event Friday will be like no other full moon event. February’s full moon, called the Snow Moon, will bring along a special lunar eclipse that will completely cover the full moon’s usually bright, glowing light, according to Space.com.
About two hours after the full moon starts to rise around 5:18 p.m. EST, a shadow caused by a penumbra lunar eclipse will cover the Snow Moon’s light around 7:43 p.m. EST. The moon won’t be visible outside of the penumbral eclipse until 9:55 p.m. EST.
The eclipse will be visible in most of North America. However, the Midwest and states in the Pacific may miss out on the beginning stages of the eclipse. Since eclipses happen in slow motion, even skywatchers on the East Coast may not notice the penumbral eclipse dark overcast across the moon until the eclipse reaches it peak around 7:43 p.m. EST.
The Snow Moon, which got its name because of the heavy snowfall that usually occurs in February, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, will also be accompanied with a comet event as Comet 45P flies across the sky around 3 a.m. Saturday morning. The comet, which has a bright blue-green head and fiery tail, will be the closet comet to approach Earth in 30 years.
Along with the name Snow Moon, February’s full moon is also referred to as the Hunger Moon, No Snow in the Trails Moon and Shoulder to Shoulder Around the Fire Moon due to the difficult, cold and snowy conditions Native American had to face while hunting during the month. Some tribes would also call the February moon the Bone Moon, because there would sometimes be so little food people would have to nibble on bones and eat bone marrow soup.
Although there will be a moment when the penumbral eclipse shadows over the moon, the Snow moon should be visible for all to see throughout the night. However, skywatchers can still watch the moon rise, penumbra lunar eclipse and comet sighting on Slooh’s live stream. Check it out HERE.
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