Skywatchers might have a treat this weekend. Friday the moon is full. A penumbral lunar eclipse will take place Friday night into Saturday morning.
During a penumbral eclipse, the moon passes through part of the earth’s shadow and turns slightly red. Alas, heavy cloud cover in the Treasure Valley means the eclipse probably won’t be visible.
Chances are better when it comes to spotting Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova, said Brian Jackson, an assistant professor in the astronomy department at Boise State.
The comet will be visible in the constellation Hercules, high in the eastern sky through early Sunday morning. Skies should be clear with some patchy fog over the weekend.
The comet, said Jackson, will look like a fuzzy blue-green ball with a fan-shaped tail. The comet appears green because of glowing carbon gas, he said.
See a star map on Jackson’s blog, astrojack.com.