An eclipse before a mass wedding? All that and more

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Typically associated with the Summer Solstice in Britain, the eclipse is part of a larger tetrad series

The moon will be shrouded in shadow on Monday evening, just ahead of a much more special occasion in the next few weeks.

The longest partial lunar eclipse since the second half of the 1500s will also be visible over northern Asia and China and become visible at 00:14 GMT on Thursday.

The eight month long 2019 lunar cycle is called a “triple conjunction” as the three celestial bodies line up.

Just when they will be closely aligned is difficult to predict and so the eclipse in particular has generated considerable hype across the planet.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption This graph shows when the orbit of the moon lines up with Earth’s orbit

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The moon will seem to fall into Earth’s shadow during the full lunar eclipse on 14 March

However, there is a fear that the weather could spoil this one from White Hart Lane to Dublin.

A blanket of cloud is expected to cover swathes of the UK on Tuesday, when millions are expected to watch the partial lunar eclipse.

But the more northern regions in Scotland, Northern Ireland and as far north as Wales and the north-west of England will be the areas that will get the best viewing conditions.

Afterwards, the moon will appear bright in the east – a change that will have a further knock-on effect at the beginning of March when the next lunar eclipse takes place.

The triple conjunction does not come together on every full moon, and is not every year.

Full moons occur four times a year in a process known as the “lunar tetrad”, which was first observed in 1992.

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