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Early birds may enjoy eclipse walk

Posted 20 December 2010
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Early birds may enjoy eclipse walk
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Those getting up before sunrise tomorrow (December 21st) may wish to put on winter jackets and see a total eclipse of the moon.

It will take place over the UK between 06:32 and 08:53 AM, with the total phase occurring at 07:40, when the sun will still be below the horizon on the shortest day of the year.

However, the moon will be close to setting at this time, particularly in the southern half of Britain, so some may wish to don fleeces and walking boots before climbing a hill to get an elevated view of the moon low in the sky.

The moon can often turn red when in total eclipse, as the Earth blocks its direct source of light from the sun but the atmosphere refracts some of the sun's rays, changing their colour.

Unlike a total solar eclipse - which is concentrated on a narrow area of the Earth's surface - the whole night-facing side of the planet will see a lunar eclipse.