A full moon and comet shared a double billing in a special night sky show this weekend.
A lunar eclipse started everything off Friday night, after passing into Earth's outer shadow, or penumbra. The moon, however, was not fully blacked out like in a full eclipse. Only part of the moon was shaded, but was easily visible from much of the world.
The eclipse, beginning at 5:32 p.m. EST, lasted about four hours.
Comet 45P, meanwhile, soomed past Earth early Saturday morning, in an extremely close encounter, passing within 7.7 million miles (12.4 million kilometers) of Earth. Its relative speed: 14.2 miles per second, or a breakneck 51,120 mph.
The comet, glowing green, was visible in the constellation Hercules.
Stargazers have been tracking Comet 45P for the past couple of months. The ice ball — an estimated mile across — comes around every five years. It's officially known as Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova, named after the Japanese, Czech and Slovak astronomers who discovered it in 1948. The letter P stands for periodic, meaning it's a recurring visitor to the inner solar system.
The Slooh network of observatories provided a live broadcast from the Canary Islands for both big events.
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