05 March 2007

Lunar eclipse wows sky watchers

"Sky watchers across the world have been enjoying the first total lunar eclipse in more than three years.

The eclipse was visible from the whole of Europe, Africa, South America, and eastern parts of the US and Canada.

The copper-red Moon was visible across large areas of the UK thanks to clear skies.

The appearance of the lunar surface varies according to how much dust is in the Earth's upper atmosphere. For example, following major volcanic eruptions, the Moon appears to be a deep red and almost invisible.

After Saturday's eclipse, the next to be seen over western Europe will take place on 21 February 2008, but late in the night between 0300 GMT and 0400 GMT.

And though eastern Australia, Alaska and New Zealand missed out on this total lunar eclipse, they will be able to see the next one, due to take place on 28 August."

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