Two unique sights in the Friday night sky - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Two unique sights in the Friday night sky

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

Sky watchers will get a rare double treat the night of Friday, Feb. 10; a partial lunar eclipse and the passage of Comet 45P.
 
The partial lunar eclipse will occur between 5:32 p.m. and 9:55 p.m. Since moon rise does not occur until 6:03 p.m. in Cincinnati, it will initially not be visible. The peak of the eclipse will occur at 7:44 p.m.

A partial lunar eclipse occurs when the moon is full and passes within the earth’s outer shadow, the penumbra. This differs from a total lunar eclipse when a full moon passes within the earth’s inner shadow, the umbra.
 
Unlike a total solar eclipse, the moon will not turn a rusty, red color Friday night. Instead, the full moon will appear slightly darker than usual, as shown in the attached image.

If you’ll be up late Friday night or up early Saturday morning before dawn, you’ll also have the chance to see Comet 45P. It will not be visible to the naked eye, but if you look high in the eastern sky with a pair of binoculars or a small telescope, you’ll be able to see a fuzzy blue-green ball and tail.
 

Comet 45P will be 7.4 million miles from Earth at this time, making its first and closest passage by Earth since 2011.
 
For ideal viewing conditions of both astronomical events, venture away from city lights. Skies will be partly cloudy for much of the night Friday and could become mostly cloudy by the pre-dawn hours Saturday, further limiting viewing.

 If there’s a break in the clouds though, look up and sneak a peek at these two unusual sights.

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