Rare super blood wolf moon turns red over UK in once in a generation event

The moon is turning a deep shade of red this morning in a once-in-a-generation event over UK skies.

The stunning spectacle – a total lunar eclipse – was first visible in the early morning sky from around 2.30am.

However, the so-called ‘super blood wolf moon’ will be visible for a total of five hours with early risers able to catch a glimpse as late as 7.48am.

The celestial phenomenon is also visible over Europe, Africa and the Americas, weather permitting.

Pictures taken earlier tonight as the moon was rising show the moon already looking like a shade of crimson.

However, the peak time to see it is around 5.15am.

The rare event is taking place for the last time in 18 years.

However, many stargazers in the UK may have to contend with cloudy weather in order to see it.

Those living in the South West and north stand the best chance.

Emma Smith, a meteorologist for the Met Office, said: “We probably won’t be able to see it around central or southern England, the Midlands, East Anglia, London. [It] will be quite overcast.

“I think Kent may be OK, you could see it in Kent.

“In the south-west – Devon, Cornwall – there will be clear skies, you could see it there and around the coast of Wales, but mainland Wales, it will be grey and overcast but the west coast of wales, it’s clear.

“Northern England has a good chance of seeing it and southern and eastern Scotland and Northern Ireland.

"But there are outbreaks of rain and sleet and snow and in western Scotland, it will be cloudier, so you won’t be able to see it there.

"Where it’s cloudy it will be quite overcast, there won’t be many gaps in the cloud to see the moon, which is a shame.”

The next ‘super blood wolf moon’ will happen on January 31, 2037 – the third and last of the 21st century.

The display, which sees the moon turn a spectacular shade of red, is a rare combination of a supermoon and a lunar eclipse.

It’s called a "wolf moon" because that’s the folk name for a full moon that happens in the month of January, when hungry wolves howled outside villages, according to folklore.

It will be the first lunar eclipse of the year and the last total lunar eclipse, when the moon glows red, until 2021.

The moon gets its red hue as sunlight is filtered as it passed through the Earth’s atmosphere, removing most of the blue light.

It’s dubbed a supermoon because the moon will be at its closest point to Earth, making it appear significantly larger in the sky.

This ‘super blood wolf moon’ is part of a cycle of lunar eclipses that began on October 25, 1874, and will conclude on July 26, 2325, with one display every 18 years.

The last one happened on January 9, 2001.

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