New Jersey stargazers will get an extra treat this week with both a lunar eclipse happening during the full moon AND a visible comet overhead all in the same night.

(photo: KathrineW, Thinkstock)

If you're like me, you find stargazing completely mesmerizing all the time, but when there's a special event like this, it's an even better experience.

Unfortunately, the eclipse we'll see this Friday, February 10th, isn't all that stunning. It's a penumbral eclipse, which means the moon will pass through the earth's secondary shadow. (Unlike a total lunar eclipse when the moon moves directly behind the earth and it's shadow, and turns a beautiful deep red as a result.)

A penumbral eclipse is different, and just looks a little darker. (This photo is a great example.)

That said, it's still pretty cool, and we should have clear enough skies to check it out. Look towards the moon Friday from 5:30-9:45 p.m.

Wondering about the next total lunar eclipse? You'll have to wait til January of next year (and maybe head to Australia...!)

As for the comet, it's Comet 45p, the same one that's been visible since New Year's Eve. It'll be closest to Earth in the early morning hours of February 11th. Look towards the Hercules constellation in the northern sky to see it!

 

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