Celestial trifecta: Full moon, eclipse, comet to be visible Friday night

National/World News
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DENVER — A celestial show will take place Friday night and Saturday morning.

First, there will be a full moon. The so-called snow moon will rise at 5:29 p.m. and becomes full at 5:34 p.m. The name comes from the fact the heaviest snows usually fall during February, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac.

Along with the full noon will be a penumbral lunar eclipse, meaning it’s a partial eclipse that leaves sections of the moon darkened by the Earth’s shadow.

It won’t be as spectacular as “blood moon” eclipses. The level of darkness reached during the eclipse may or may not be apparent; it just depends on where you are when you view it.

In North America, the eclipse begins at 3:34 p.m. MST so it will be happening as the moon rises. It ends at 7:53 p.m, according to astronomy website EarthSky. The eclipse will be at its height around 5:44 p.m.

If that’s still not enough, let’s throw in a comet to the night’s festivities.

Comet 45P is visible as it flies by Earth. The comet will get within 7.4 million miles of the planet as it makes its closest approach this weekend, according to Universe Today.

Comet 45P will be the most visible a couple of hours after the eclipse and in the predawn hours, so look to the skies again bout 1 a.m. Saturday and find the greenish-blue light with a tail.

A total big-time solar eclipse will streak across the United States on Aug. 21.

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