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Super blue moon to appear over London

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Skygazers can look forward to an unusual celestial event tonight when a Super Blue Moon rises in the sky. Blue moons are defined as the second full moon in a calendar month and a supermoon means it will appear about 14% bigger and 30% brighter as it reaches its closest point to Earth. However a lunar eclipse visible in other parts of the world won't be seen from the UK.

It will be high in the sky from about 19:00 and will be at its highest, and thus best, time at around 00:40. This coming full moon is unusual in that it is the second full moon of the month, when typically there is only one full moon per calendar month. Also, the full moon will be slightly larger than normal given that this is also a supermoon, so astrophotography will be more spectacular than normal.

– Dr Gregory Brown, Royal Observatory Greenwich
Credit: PA

Nasa has described the event as "extra special" for those in the US and other parts of the world such as the Middle East, Asia, eastern Russia, Australia and New Zealand, where the blue moon will coincide with a total lunar eclipse. This will mean the moon is in the Earth's shadow and will take on a reddish tint, known as a 'blood moon'.

The weather in London and the South East tonight is expected to be clear for the first part of the evening but will cloud over with some showers in the early hours of Thursday morning. However, many are hoping to get a good view of tonight's particularly special moon.