Belfast Telegraph

Thunderstorms prevent skygazers from seeing ‘blood moon’ eclipse

Those gazing skywards from much of the UK were treated to nothing by dark skies.

Skygazers looking out for the rare “blood moon” lunar eclipse were left disappointed as clouds largely obscured the celestial phenomenon.

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.

Groups of hopefuls camped out on Primrose Hill were treated to dark skies with the only light coming from London’s skyline.

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Clouds over London as seen from Primrose Hill (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

The lunar eclipse, which was estimated to last around 103 minutes, saw the “total” phase end at around 10.13pm, with the moon passing through the Earth’s darkest shadow and take on a red sheen.

But a blanket of grey spoiled any chance of a glimpse for people in Hampshire and Wiltshire in the south and south west, to Hull in east Yorkshire, Liverpool in the north west and Dublin in Ireland.

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Clouds over Stonehenge in Wiltshire, obscuring the “blood moon” (Steve Parsons/PA)

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.

For those lucky enough, and unlike a solar eclipse, the lunar event could be viewed without wearing protective eye gear.

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.

The next total lunar eclipse in the UK will take place on January 19 2019.

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