Sunday, February 8, 2009

Lunar Eclipse Monday 2/9 & Comet Lulin

Space Weather News for Feb. 8, 2009

DUSKY LUNAR ECLIPSE: On Monday, Feb. 9th, the full Moon will pass through the outskirts of Earth's shadow, producing a penumbral lunar eclipse. The event will be visible to the naked eye as a dusky shading of the northern half of the Moon. Maximum eclipse occurs between the hours of 1400 and 1520 UT (6:00 am - 7:20 am PST). The timing favors observers in east Asia, Australia, Hawaii and western parts of North America. Visit for a visibility map, animations, and more information.

COMET LULIN UPDATE: The plasma tail of Comet Lulin, torn off by a solar wind gust on Feb. 4th, has already grown back. Also, observers in dark-sky locations report that the comet is now visible to the naked eye as a pale "fuzzy patch" in the constellation Libra before dawn. The comet is brightening as it approaches Earth for a 38-million-mile close encounter on Feb. 24th. See the latest images in the Comet Lulin Photo Gallery:

Terri, Events Coordinator
Phoenix Astronomical Society