The month of February promises many stunning astronomical events. February’s Snow Moon will be no ordinary full moon for sky-watchers in most parts of the world, as it coincides with a special lunar eclipse that will cast a shadow over the full moon’s usual bright, glowing face.
On Friday Feb 10th, just 10 minutes after the full moon peaks, so will a penumbral lunar eclipse. The moon will spend more than 4 hours coasting through Earth’s outer shadow, called the penumbra, and it will appear darker than normal.
While penumbral eclipses can be difficult to see and don’t look nearly as dramatic as a total lunar eclipse in which the moon passes through the darkest, central part of Earth’s shadow Friday’s penumbral eclipse will be darker and more noticeable than most lunar eclipses of its kind. That’s because the moon will veer so deeply into Earth’s penumbral shadow that it will be almost entirely submerged in shade.
Friday’s penumbral lunar eclipse will be visible from most countries of the world, with the exception of Australia, New Zealand and the East Asian countries along the Pacific coast. In the U.S., the state of Hawaii will miss out on the event.
Sky-watchers across Europe, Asia, Africa and North America will all be able to see the lunar eclipse, though some regions will have a better view than others. The best places to see the eclipse from beginning to end are Europe, Africa and the eastern side of South America (including most of Brazil).