Clouds part in W. MI for partial lunar eclipse, comet

Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková.
An Oct. 1, 2011 image of Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková. (NASA)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP/WOOD) — A full moon will undergo a partial eclipse Friday night, peaking at 7:43 p.m. and West Michigan has a chance to see it.

A break in the clouds has developed and should hold long enough for those in West Michigan to see the eclipse. A partial eclipse happens when the Earth moves between the moon and the sun, but not completely.

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Futurecast for 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, February 10th where a break in the clouds should allow for eclipse viewing.

A lunar eclipse starts everything off Friday night. The moon will pass into Earth’s penumbra, or outer shadow. The moon won’t be blacked out like in a full eclipse. Only part of the moon will be shaded, but it should be easily visible from much of the world.

 

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Comet 45P, meanwhile, will zoom past Earth early Saturday. It will be a close encounter as these things go, passing within some 7 million miles. This means both a comet and an eclipse will go roughly hand-in-hand.

Much of the nation should be able to see the partial lunar eclipse Friday night. The purple/blue shaded areas show the locations that will be able to see the partial eclipse, courtesy of Timeanddate.com.

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Blue and purple areas show those who will be able to see the partial lunar eclipse courtesy of timeanddate.com.

The comet will be visible in the constellation Hercules. Binoculars and telescopes will help in the search. Clouds will fill in close to daybreak Saturday.

Stargazers have been tracking Comet 45P for the past couple months. The ice ball comes around every five years.