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Early hours on Monday 16th May there will be a total lunar eclipse. For the nocturnal amongst us and the early birds here’s the timeline.
03:27 – The Moon enters the umbra, the darker part of the Earth’s shadow. This will be more noticeable than the penumbra. At this point, the Moon will also be starting to take on a reddish appearance.
04:29 – The total eclipse begins as the Moon takes on a becomes completely reddish in appearance. At this point, the Moon is also heading toward the horizon, which is why having a good view of the south-western horizon is important.
05:11 – This is the point of greatest eclipse, when the Moon is closest to the centre of the shadow cast by the Earth. However, the Moon is now very close to the horizon and depending on your vantage point, it may be tricky to actually spot the eclipse any further. A bright full Moon can be spotted in these circumstances when it’s near to the horizon, but an eclipsed Moon will be difficult to see.
05:21 – At this point, the Moon will set but there’s a strong possibility that it may already be lost from view.
For those in Wales make the most of this opportunity because the next total lunar eclipse visible from Wales won’t be until March 14, 2025.