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Announcement expected on Chinese involvement in nuclear power

Sizewell nuclear power station in Suffolk Credit: ITV News Anglia

The Government is expected to announce a multibillion pound deal later which will secure Chinese backing for a nuclear power plant at Sizewell C in Suffolk.

The deal could also allow Chinese state-owned companies to design and build a nuclear reactor using their own technology at Bradwell in Essex.

Those in support say it's a huge boost for the region, but concerns have been raised about national security as well as ecological and environmental concerns.

Professor Steffen Boeh, Director of Essex Sustainability Unit Credit: ITV News Anglia

"It's too much of a gamble to be honest. It' a new Chinese reactor that will be built here, the first one in the western world and there's no track record of the Chinese being able to build safe and to cost reactors."

– Professor Steffen Boehm Director, Essex Sustainability Unit
Bradwell in Essex Credit: ITV News Anglia

Send us your pictures of the 'supermoon' lunar eclipse

15-year-old Adam Oliver took this picture in Lowestoft Credit: Adam Oliver

Stargazers across the East of England were able to see and photograph last night's dusty red 'supermoon' created from a lunar eclipse.

This picture was taken by 15-year-old Adam Oliver from Lowestoft who had stayed up late to see the eclipse which last took place 30-years ago.

The lunar eclipse is almost complete Credit: ITV News Anglia

It began at 1.10am with the total phase, when the moon is completely in shadow, lasting from 3.11am to 4.24am.

The moon finally emerged from the Earth's shadow at 6.24am.

Taken from Ipswich, Suffolk Credit: Graham Meadows
Taken in Bedford Credit: Stephen Ramsey

We'd love to see some more of your pictures, please email to


Stargazers in east treated to 'supermoon' in the sky

The dusty red moon over Norwich Credit: ITV News Anglia

Stargazers have observed a blood red 'supermoon' in the skies above the East of England for the first time in 30 years.

The eerie light created from a lunar eclipse with the moon near to its closest point to the Earth delighted amateur astronomers and photographers.

It began at 1.10am with the total phase, when the moon is completely in shadow, lasting from 3.11am to 4.24 am.

The moon finally emerged from the Earth's shadow at 6.24am.

The beginning of the eclipse taken from Norwich Credit: ITV News Anglia

When the moon is at perigee, its shortest distance from the Earth, it is 226,000 miles away and appears 14% larger and 30% brighter than when it is at its furthermost point.

The last time this coincided with a lunar eclipse, when the moon is covered by the Earth's shadow, was in 1982 and the event will not be repeated until 2033.

It's the closest the moon has been to the earth for 30 years Credit: ITV News Anglia

During a lunar eclipse, the moon turns a deep rusty red, due to sunlight being scattered by the Earth's atmosphere.

Our weatherman Aidan clears up the facts about fog

In the final part in his series Clearing the Air, ITV Anglia weatherman Aidan McGivern has been taking a look at fog.

He's been to Bedfordshire to talk to scientists involved in the latest research on what causes fog and how it can be predicted more accurately.

Click below to watch his special report

And here are ten facts about fog from Aidan

  • The difference between mist and fog is how far it is possible to see. The airline industry define fog as visibility less than 1000 metres. The civilian definition of fog is when visibility is less than 200 metres.
  • When fog occurs and the temperature is below 0ºC, it is called freezing fog.
  • Rime occurs when the water droplets in fog freeze onto the outer surfaces of objects, giving everything a frosted covering.
  • Smog is a type of air pollution made up of smoky pollution and fog. The worst smog to ever hit the UK was the Great Smog of 1952, which wreaked havoc for four days in London. This led to the Clean Air Act of 1956.
  • Vog occurs when volcanic gases such as sulphur dioxide react with oxygen and moisture in the atmosphere under direct sunlight to give a volcanic fog. It is common in Hawaii.
  • Fog is simply another type of cloud: a stratus cloud that sits on the ground
  • The foggiest place in the world is the Grand Banks off the island of Newfoundland where the cold Labrador current from the north meets the warm Gulf Stream from the south. The water vapour that accompanies the Gulf Stream cools quickly and condenses, forming fog.
  • In the Atacama Desert in Chile, one of the driest places on Earth, fog is harvested from the air - using mesh-patterned nets to collect its water droplets.
  • The Fogstand Beetle in the Namib Desert stand still in the fog and allow the water droplets to condense onto their body, which they then drink.
  • Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, is the only object other than Earth in the Solar System known to have plenty of liquid on its surface. It is also the only other object to have patches of fog, albeit fog made up of methane and ethane.

Our weatherman Aidan takes a very close look at clouds

Aidan with the research plane

In the latest in his series Clearing the Air, ITV Anglia weatherman Aidan McGivern has been taking a close look at clouds.

He's even been flying fifty feet above the North Sea - in a bid to explain how clouds are formed.

Aidan writes:

"Even in the middle of summer, clouds are a familiar sight in the skies above the UK. But the tiny particles that cause clouds to grow and decay are much more difficult to observe. In fact, the best way to study them is to take to the skies and journey to the heart of the clouds."

Flying 50 feet above the sea

Cranfield Airport in Bedfordshire is the home for the Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurements (FAAM).

Using one of the most advanced research aircrafts in the world, Scientists from the Met Office and the Natural Environment Research Council study everything from the physics of the clouds to the chemistry of the sky.

Inside the research plane
Met Office experts

In July, Aidan took to the skies with atmospheric scientists from across the UK for an instrument test flight ahead of a research mission to the tropics.

This summer, they are investigating the moment when water droplets in clouds freeze and how this impacts the development of the cloud.

Ten facts about clouds

  1. Other planets in our Solar System have clouds. The clouds on Venus are made of sulphur dioxide whilst Jupiter and Saturn have clouds of ammonia.

  2. In 1803, Luke Howard used Latin words to classify the clouds into nine main types. These included cirrus \(wisps\), stratus \(a layer\) and cumulus \(a heap\).

  3. The average thickness of a cloud droplet is 0.02mm in diameter. This is around five times smaller than the thickness of a sheet of paper.

  4. The sunniest city in the world is officially Yuma in Arizona with over 4000 hours of sunshine each year, which amounts to around 91% of the time.

  5. The cloudiest parts of the world are found close to the poles and the cloudiest city on the planet is thought to be Chengdu in China, which has just 1,100 hours of sunshine each year.

  6. Clouds are good omens in Iran. They have a saying for when someone is blessed with good luck: “dayem semakum ghaim”. This translates as "your sky is always filled with clouds"

  7. Clouds are very heavy. A small cumulus cloud might typically weigh as much as two elephants.

  8. In 1959 Lieutenant\-Colonel William Rankin, a pilot in the US Air Force, was ejected from his plane and into a cumulonimbus thunderstorm cloud. He spent half an hour trapped in the cloud, thrown around by the up and downdrafts and pelted with hail. Amazingly, he survived the ordeal.

  9. Most clouds form in the lower part of the atmosphere called the Troposphere. Occasionally, clouds can form in the Stratosphere, which is the layer above the Troposphere. These are called Nacreous clouds.

  10. Only 1% of rain outside of the tropics comes from ice-free clouds.

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