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28 Jul 2018

Half the globe enjoys the beauty of the blood moon some part left disappointed

After weeks of uninterrupted sunshine and cloudless skies, thunderstorms swept across swathes of the UK on Friday, veiling what was said to be the longest celestial event in the 21st century.

Other parts of the globe were luckier and for about half the world, the moon was partly or full in the Earth’s shadow from 6.14pm until 12.28am.
An effect created on the slow shutter speed showing the the moon turn red during the lunar eclipse, in Jammu, the winter capital of Kashmir, India(Picture EPA)
The period of complete eclipse – known as ‘totality’ when the moon appears darkest and takes on a red hue lasted from 8.30pm until 10.13pm. The best places to witness the rare sight were southern Africa, Australia and Madagascar.

It wasn’t just the UK that was left disappointed after a blanket of grey spoiled any chance of a glimpse.

Widespread monsoon rainstorms and thick clouds hid the moon across much of India and its neighbours, which should have had a prime view. Parts of Kashmir managed to see it.

Social media users were quick to post sarcastic tweets about how great their view of the celestial event was, with many bemoaning the fact that skies had been clear for weeks only to cloud up on Friday.
Indonesian Muslims pray as a lunar eclipse is projected on a screen at Al-Akbar mosque in Surabaya, Indonesia (Picture: Antara Foto)
On Primrose Hill, north London, would-be-moon admirers broke into a rendition of ‘Total eclipse of the heart’ to lift the soggy mood. Some Britons had better luck however, with the Grenadier Guards stationed in Iraq posting images showing troops gazing at a red-sheened moon hanging in a clear sky.

However take heart as it is not too long until the next one.

The next total lunar eclipse in the UK will take place on January 19 2019. It was the longest ‘blood moon’ this century and coincided with Mars’ closes approach in 15 years. Mars appeared unusually large and bright, a mere 57.7 million kilometres (35.9 million miles) from Earth on its elliptical orbit around the sun.
The UK was left disappointed…Clouds obscure the view for people gathered to see the ‘blood moon’ in London (Picture: AP)
A total lunar eclipse happens when Earth takes position in a straight line between the moon and sun, blotting out the direct sunlight that normally makes our satellite glow whitish-yellow.

The moon travels to a similar position every month, but the tilt of its orbit means it normally passes above or below the Earth’s shadow – so most months we have a full moon without an eclipse.

When the three celestial bodies are perfectly lined up, however, the Earth’s atmosphere scatters blue light from the sun while refracting or bending red light onto the moon, usually giving it a rosy blush.

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