August 24, 2019

Apollo 11: Partial lunar eclipse on 50th anniversary

Apollo 11: Partial lunar eclipse on 50th anniversary


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Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

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The partial eclipse was seen from Avon beach in Mudeford, Dorset

Skywatchers across the UK have witnessed a partial lunar eclipse, 50 years to the day since the US mission to put men on the Moon lifted off.

The surface of Earth’s satellite appeared red or dark grey at the height of the eclipse at about 22:30 BST.

Lunar eclipses occur when the Earth crosses between the Sun and Moon – casting a shadow on the lunar surface.

The Apollo 11 mission carrying Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins blasted off on 16 July 1969.

Four days later Armstrong became the first man to step on to the Moon’s surface.

During a partial eclipse, some – but not all – of the Moon passes through the darkest area of shadow behind the Earth, the central region called the umbra.

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Getty Images

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The Moon appeared red above London as the Earth came between it and the Sun

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Danny Lawson/PA Wire

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Mostly clear skies also allowed the partial lunar eclipse to be seen from Stoodley Pike in West Yorkshire

BBC Weather was expecting mostly clear skies, meaning the eclipse could be seen across much of the UK.

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Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

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The spectacle could be seen from Tynemouth Priory on the north-east coast of Britain

The event was visible across Europe and was also expected to be seen from Africa, much of Asia, the eastern part of South America, and western Australia.

Lunar eclipses can only occur on the night of a full moon.

The next partial lunar eclipse is not expected until 19 November 2021.

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REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

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The partial eclipse could be seen across the world including in Brasilia, Brazil

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EPA/RONALD WITTEK

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The Moon appeared red ahead of the partial eclipse in Speyer, Germany

The last total lunar eclipse – sometimes known as a “super blood wolf moon” – was visible in the UK in January.

Skywatchers in the UK will not get the chance to see another until 2029 – weather permitting.

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