FIFTY years ago today, on July 16, 1969, three intrepid explorers were blasted into space on the Saturn V rocket aboard the Apollo 11 mission to be the first men to land on the moon.
And tonight, stargazers viewing our celestial satellite where Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, assisted by Michael Collins in the lunar module, made one giant leap for mankind will be in for a special treat as there is a partial eclipse visible in the sky.
The moon is set to rise around 9.15pm but because it will be low and because of the eclipse it will be so dim it will be hard to see until it gets higher in the sky.
The eclipse will take place between 9.15pm and midnight.
It is thought the peak time to see it will be at 10.30pm when 60 per cent of the moon will be in the Earth’s shadow and the covered section could, depending on atmospheric conditions, turn red.
Sue Dipple, the chairman of Bromsgrove Astronomical Society, said: “The moon won’t be completely covered and because of the time of the year the sky will not be dark.
“But it will be visible to the naked eye and the warm weather should make for comfortable viewing.”
The number of total lunar eclipses per year worldwide ranges from none to three with more partial lunar eclipses happening each 12 months.
They outnumber total eclipses by six or seven.
But these events will not always be visible from the United Kingdom.
The last time there were three total eclipses in one year was 1982.
The next total eclipse visible from Europe will not be until 2022 although that may not be visible from the UK.