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Partial lunar eclipse visible from UK as Earth passes between sun and moon

Jan 28, 2024

The spectacular sight has wowed people around the world after it peaked at 10.30pm

A large part of the moon has been shrouded in darkness - 50 years since the historic mission to land on the surface took off.

Experts predicted that 60% will appear to be red or dark grey thanks to a partial lunar eclipse, which is visible from the UK.

The rare eclipse will reach its height at around 10.30pm, the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) said.

The stunning show will last more than five hours, ending at around 1.15am, when the moon moves away from the Earth's lighter shadow.

The redness will be caused by sunlight passing through the planet's atmosphere.

It happens when the Earth passes between the sun and the moon - which causes a large shadow to form.

The eclipse comes 50 years to the day after the Apollo 11 mission blasted off from Florida.

Four days later Neil Armstrong became the first man to set foot on the moon.

Clear skies are expected, meaning the eclipse should be visible across most of the country.

Experts say it is safe to observe the lunar eclipse with the naked eye.

Stronger atmospheric scattering of blue light means that the light that reaches the lunar surface is predominantly red in colour.

So for observers on Earth, the eclipsed part of the Moon may be brick-coloured, rusty, blood red, or sometimes dark grey, depending on terrestrial conditions.

For this reason, the lunar eclipse is often described as a "Blood Moon" - or in the case of a partial lunar eclipse, a "Half-Blood Moon".

A post on astronomy website says: "The best part is you need no equipment to observe it, just look up at our beloved Luna.

"So, this time stay in luck to watch the uttermost delight of the month to come.

"Step out of spur houses, gather your loved ones, sit out and enjoy the show."

Tonight's lunar eclipse is the final one of 2019, and the last for a few years, so you won't want to miss it.

If you are unable to see it in the sky, for whatever reason, the Royal Observatory Greenwich will be streaming a live feed of the event, which you can watch here .

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