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An eclipse will obscure the full moon this week on February 11

The full February moon, also known as the snow moon, will coincide this year with a lunar eclipse during the early hours of February 11.

The coincidence will make clear how the interposition of the Earth between the Sun and the Moon casts a shadow across the surface of our satellite.

In this case it is a penumbral lunar eclipse, when only the most diffuse external shadow of the Earth falls on the Moon, causing a shadow more subtle than a partial or total eclipse, when part or all of the Moon is hidden.

The eclipse will be visible throughout the emerging land, with the exception of the far east of Asia and Oceania. The shadow will be projected for the first time on the Moon at 22.34 GMT on 10 February, with a maximum at 00.44 GMT on Saturday 11 and will end at 02:53 GMT.

Just a few hours later, Comet 45P - also known as the New Year's Comet - will make its closest approach to Earth. It will be visible in the morning sky in the constellation of Hercules, before passing through the constellations Corona Borealis (the North Crown), Boötes (the Shepherd), Canes Venatici and Ursa Major.

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