A Trio Of Skywatching Treats In Store This Week For Ocean County
There are truly few things that I love more than looking at the night sky. Ever since my childhood at summer camp, I've loved laying outside and gazing up at a crystal clear night sky. And this week we'll have not one, but a trio of treats in the skies over Ocean County.
Here's everything that's going on above us this week:
February's full moon is called the "Snow Moon", and we should have a dazzler rise on Friday.
Moon rise on Friday begins at 5:19pm, which will lead us right into the next big event, which is...
Penumbral Lunar Eclipse
Unlike a total lunar eclipse, a penumbral eclipse, "takes place when the Moon moves through the faint, outer part of the Earth's shadow. This type of eclipse is often mistaken for a normal full Moon."
Friday's eclipse begins right after moon rise, at 5:34pm, and will reach its maximum point at 7:43pm. So that gives you plenty of time to get home, grab some binoculars, and watch it unfold!
But that's not all!
"New Year Comet"
Remember the "New Year Comet" that helped us ring in 2017? ("Comet 45P Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova", if you want to be more precise)
Well, it's still out there, and it'll be making a close pass to Earth at the end of the week and into the weekend. Between Friday and Saturday, it's magnitude (the technical term for its brightness) will be enough that a pair of binoculars should be all you need to see it.
The full Moon will make seeing the comet with the naked eye difficult if not impossible, but if you know what you're looking for, a pair of binoculars (or even better, a telescope) should give you a good look!