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UK braces for lunar eclipse

Even the moon is in the red

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For the first time since 2004 the UK is set to bask in the spooky reddish light of a full lunar eclipse, so step away from your computer and hope for clear skies.

This Saturday night (3 March) the Earth will move between the sun and the moon. The Earth will cast its shadow on the moon, leaving our largest natural satellite to bask only in refracted Earthlight, which it reflects back to us in all its bloody glory.

The actual colour of the reflected Earthlight depends on the condition of the Earth's atmosphere, particularly its dust content. It can be anything from a deep coppery red to a dull grey.

Proceedings begin shortly after 8pm, when the moon moves into our planet's penumbral shadow. It takes a little over an hour for it to move into the darker umbra, but this stage should begin by half past nine, and reach totality by a quarter to eleven.

The eclipse will last for around 75 minutes, finishing two minutes before midnight. The moon will be totally out of our shadow by half past two in the morning.

The weather looks reasonably promising too...®

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