BBC Weather: Astonishing lunar eclipse to dazzle UK through clear skies TONIGHT

Lunar eclipses occur when the Earth lines up between the sun and the moon. Only part of the moon’s surface is covered by the Earth’s shadow during a partial lunar eclipse as the three celestial bodies do not align perfectly. That means the rest of the moon is covered by the penumbra, the outer part of the Earth’s shadow. Tonight’s partial eclipse will be visible across Europe, most of Asia, Africa, the Middle East, South America and some parts of North America.


The BBC said that while there will be even more dramatic lunar shadows in some parts of the world, the UK will still witness a 65 percent eclipse.

BBC meteorologist Simon King explained: “All this week we’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Moon landings.

“Tonight, we get a lunar spectacle.

“Not only is there going to be a full ‘Buck Moon’ but we’re also going to get a partial lunar eclipse.

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“For many of us tonight there’s going to be some clear skies – just a bit of cloud for the Midlands, eastern parts of England, the possibility of one or two showers here.

“The cloud will increase tonight across Scotland and Northern Ireland.

“But for most of us those clear skies will allow a good opportunity to see the Moon as it rises at about nine o’clock this evening.

“There’s going to be a 65 percent eclipse and it’s going to be at its maximum at about 2230pm this evening.

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“You need to look to the southeast and close to the horizon because the moon will have only just risen by that point.

“But, hopefully, you’ll get to see it.”

You do not need any special equipment to watch the Half-Blood Thunder Moon as long as you are in an area with no obstructions.

Dr Morgan Hollis from the Royal Astronomical Society explains: “You’re looking for anywhere that has a low unobstructed horizon, no tall buildings and trees in the way.”

Unlike solar eclipses, it is completely safe to look at the moon with the naked eye.

You can also use binoculars and a telescope but there is no need to use special equipment.

If you cannot get outside then will run a lifestream of the entire partial lunar eclipse in its five-and-a-half entirety.

The Half-Blood Thunder Moon gets its name from the combination of two things.

Thunder Moon is the nickname for any full moon falling in the month of July, a tradition dating back to early Native American tribes.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac says July’s full moon gets its nickname “because thunderstorms are so frequent during this month”.

Other nicknames include Hay, Buck or Mead Moon.

Full moons are generally referred to as blood moons because of their coppery red tint during a full eclipse so a partial lunar eclipse is a half-blood moon.

Therefore, we have a Half-Blood Thunder Moon.

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