There's an old saying that things (good and bad) come in threes, and tonight's Feb. 10 celestial threesome promises to deliver a rare astronomical trifecta. But, what does it mean when there's a Snow Moon, lunar eclipse, and comet at the same time? While astronomers say there's nothing significant about each of these events individually, some conspiracy theorists claim the alignment of the three celestial events can only mean one thing — the apocalypse.
Celestial events throughout history have often been touted as vessels for the end of the world. Remember the Heaven's Gate cult? Its leaders preached that it was tie for them to leave their bodily “containers” and enter an alien spacecraft hidden behind the Hale-Bopp comet. They drank the (poison) Kool-Aid (literally), and allegedly grabbed a ride on the comet's tale to another world in 1997. It was all very The OA, though I don't know if they did the five movements before they drank the Kool-Aid.
Christian Pastor and You Tube Preacher Paul Begley (who hosts the TV show The Coming Apocalypse), claimed in his recent video "3 Apocalyptic Signs In The Heavens On February 10” that the now moon, lunar eclipse, and comet occurring simultaneously can only be a sign of the end of days.
Quoting Luke 21:25-26 from the Bible, he says in the video:
And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the Earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and looking after those things which are coming on the Earth; for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
But while these tumultuous President Trump times might seem like a good time for the world to implode, you're most likely in for a night of pleasant sky gazing instead. Doomsday theories have always been just that — theories. We're all still here, so we can assume that none of them have actually come to pass.
On the non-conspiracy-theory front, lunar eclipses are relationship-oriented, according to Cafe Astrology. While eclipses can manifest feelings of crisis, it's most likely fear of — a lack a time when you suddenly realize a great need or want. This is a time to sever relationships that are no longer working, or to connect with someone new.
"Although lunar eclipses are more relationship-oriented than solar eclipses, they are not always about relationships between two people," the site notes. "They can trigger awareness of need in other areas of our lives, such as our relationship to work, to our health and bodies, and so forth. This is a time when matters come to light — things that have been brewing under the surface."
If you're into astronomy, this is a total penumbral eclipse, which occurs when the moon becomes completely immersed in the penumbral cone ( region in which only a portion of the light source is obscured by the occluding body) of the Earth without touching the umbra ( the innermost and darkest part of a shadow), creating a narrow path for the moon to pass. This type of lunar eclipse occurs between zero and nine times per 100 years.
A lunar eclipse on the Snow Moon (the name of February's full moon, earned due to it being the snowiest month of the year), will help you to look more closely at your needs, lacks, and wants. The Snow Moon was alternatively called the Hunger Moon because the heavy snows made hunting and gathering for food difficult, which could cause people to focus on what the they lacked, and what they desired. Additionally, full moons are associated with werewolves, vampires, and general lunacy (the word "lunacy" is itself a derivative of lunar), though there is only anecdotal evidence to support people behaving unusually during full moons.
According to USA Today, the exact moment of the eclipse is 7:43 p.m. ET (6:43 p.m. CT, 5:43 p.m. MT and 4:43 p.m. PT).
Meanwhile, the Comet 45P/Honda–Mrkos–Pajdušáková (also known as the New Year Comet) is a short-period comet discovered by Minoru Honda Dec. 3, 1948. The comet revolves around the Sun on an elliptical orbit with a period of 5.25 years, meaning it will be visible again in 2022. Because comets come around rarely (though this one is pretty common), they are often associated with the day of reckoning. The comet is expected to be visible just before dawn.
Comets, often referred to as dirty snowballs, are left over from the formation of stars and planets billions of years ago. With this ancient star dust whizzing by, it's easy to see why comets are associated with the return of prophets, but you can take comfort in the fact millions of comets have passed by Earth, and the planet is still here.
If you are a conspiracy theorist this celestial trifecta could mean for you a time of crisis, a new beginning, or even your conversion into a werewolf. Buckle up — it's going to be a wild night.
Images: Getty Images; Giphy (2)