Dust off those telescopes, because three breathtaking astronomical events will occur on the same evening this upcoming weekend. From the evening of Feb. 10 into the morning of Feb. 11, space observers will be treated to quite the stunning show, as a snow moon, lunar eclipse, and New Year comet will simultaneously light up the sky.
Each of these occurrences is individually awe-inspiring, but all three together? We can hardly contain our excitement. To fully understand this phenomenon, we’re breaking down what each of these celestial events entails.
- Snow moon: This is basically a fancy term for February’s full moon. The name derives from the fact that February is usually the month that sees the highest average snowfall in a year. The snow moon will rise at 5:33 p.m EST on Friday and set at 7:22 a.m., and it shouldn’t be too hard to spot it in the sky.
- New Year comet: Named because it began moving across the sky at the tail end of 2016, the New Year comet is set to shoot across the sky on Feb. 11. This comet is only visible every five and a quarter years, so the fact that it just so happens to arrive this weekend is pretty darn cool.
- Lunar eclipse: Not to be confused with a solar eclipse, lunar eclipses occur when the sun, Earth, and moon line up. When the Earth aligns in front of the sun, the moon is covered in a shadow, which makes it appear red. Anyone in Europe, Africa, and most of Asia and North America will be able to view this somewhat eerie yet stunning event. The shadow will be mostly visible from 7:43 p.m. EST until 9:53 p.m. on Friday, according to AOL.
Set your alarms and get your cameras ready, space buffs, because this weekend is about to get lit.