DETROIT (WWJ) — Most Americans can get a triple dose of celestial wonder on Friday night.
Three different astronomical events will be visible in the sky on Friday, most notable a penumbral lunar eclipse. Such and eclipse happens when only the outer shadow (the penumbra) of Earth falls on the moon’s surface, according to NASA.
Prime viewing time for the eclipse will be around 7:45 p.m. EST.
The eclipse will be harder to see than a full lunar eclipse, but will occur during the “snow moon,” or February’s full moon. The snow moon got its name from when native Americans gave nicknames to each month’s full moon to help keep track of years and seasons.
Fans of astronomy will also be in for a treat. Comet 45P, which has been visible through binoculars and telescopes for the past few months, will be making its closest approach to Earth — 7.7 million miles. NASA recommends that backyard astronomers use binoculars or a telescope to look for the comet several times during the coming days.
Unfortunately, current weather forecasts say the metro Detroit area is due to be partly cloudy to mostly cloudy between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m., so lets hope conditions hold out long enough to view these cosmic beauties.