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A snow moon, a lunar eclipse and the New Year comet will coincide this Friday

By Stephanie Hartman

Hey, stargazers! You're in for a total treat this Friday thanks to a triple-whammy of celestial happenings. Here's a breakdown of what you'll see if you point your peepers skyward as the weekend begins.

Snow moon

Historically, February's full moon has been referred to as a snow moon, due to Native Americans defining the second month as the snowiest and coldest on the calendar. The snow moon will rise at 4.44pm on Friday and set at 7.30am on Saturday morning.

Lunar eclipse

A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth passes between the moon and sun, causing the sun's light to be blocked and a shadow to be cast on the surface of the moon. Tomorrow's will begin in the UK at 10.34pm, with the best time for viewing just after midnight on Sat Feb 11 at 12.44am. It's not going to be particularly dramatic, but the keen-eyed amongst you will notice the full moon won't be glowing quite so brightly.

New Year Comet

This comet is technically known as Comet 45P and gives us earthlings a show every five and a quarter years. It was discovered in 1948 by Moniru Honda, and this weekend it's getting the closest to Earth it's been since 2011, which is still a whopping 7.4 million miles away. Clear skies from midnight on Friday will allow the naked eye to see it if you're looking towards the constellation Hercules, but London's light-polluted skies may mean you'll need a pair of binoculars at the ready too.

Check out the best (and the worst) photos of the supermoon in London.


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