Why WNY likely Won't See Friday's Astronomical Hat Trick

Rare Triple Celestial Event

There's been lots of buzz lately about a celestial triple header on Friday night. 

It's relatively rare to have a full moon, a lunar eclipse and a comet coincide on the same night, but that's what many stargazers will be tuning their telescopes to.

The full moon is of course the most common, occurring generally once each month. The anticipated lunar eclipse happens twice per year on average. But the comet, named Comet 45P, is easily the rarest sight. It will make its closest pass with our planet at about 3am ET Saturday. 'Close' is a relative term here since it will still be over 7 million miles away!

Unfortunately, clouds and perhaps some light snow will hinder our view of these heavenly sights. But fear not, the next lunar eclipse will occur on August 7th. We'll have to wait a little longer for Comet 45P's return though. It'll be back in our neighborhood in 2022.

For those willing to travel, a total solar eclipse will be visible in the U.S. for the first time since 1979. Places like Omaha, NE; St. Louis, MO and Louisville, KY should have front row seats. We may see a sliver of that here at home.

© 2017 WGRZ-TV


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