The solar eclipse was visible on Tuesday, July 2, from parts of Chile, Argentina and the South Pacific Ocean. The eclipse was the first total eclipse to grace the skies since the so-called Great American Eclipse on August 21, 2017. Solar eclipses like this are a rarity and typically happen once every 18 months or so. They are, however, followed by another brilliant event – a lunar eclipse.
Solar and lunar eclipses always come in pairs, with one shortly following the other within a fortnight.
Astronomy guide EarthSky.org explained: “Solar and lunar eclipses always come in pairs, with one following the other in a period of one fortnight – approximately two weeks.
“For example, in January 2019, the descending node partial solar eclipse on January 6 was followed by the ascending node total lunar eclipse on January 21.”
Yesterday’s eclipse came just two weeks after the brilliant June Full Moon lit up the night skies.
And the New Moon passed in front of the Sun to blot out the glowing disc of the star.
In another two weeks, when the Moon is back to its Full Moon phase, the Sun will cast a shadow onto the lunar orb – a lunar eclipse.
The July lunar eclipse will fall on the late evening hours of July 16.
According to space agency NASA, the eclipse will be a partial eclipse, obscuring more than half of the Moon.
READ MORE: How long will the solar eclipse last?
The eclipse will unfold from about 7.43pm BST and peak around 10.30pm BST.
A partial eclipse of the Moon happens when the lunar orb dips into the Earth’s shadow, without submerging into it fully.
On July 16, the eclipse will be fully visible from most of Africa, parts of India, Italy and the Middle East.
Here in the UK, the partial eclipse will only be visible at moonrise.
NASA explained: “During a lunar eclipse, Earth comes between the Sun and the Moon, blocking the sunlight falling on the Moon.
“There are two kinds of lunar eclipses. A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon and Sun are on opposite sides of Earth.
“A partial lunar eclipse happens when only part of Earth’s shadow covers the Moon.”
The last total eclipse of the Moon occurred this year on the night of January 21.