Eclipse 2018: UK stargazers have Blood Moon view BLOCKED by thunderstorms and rain clouds

After days of uninterrupted sunshine and cloudless skies, thunderstorms swept across swathes of the UK on Friday.

Some 80,000 lightning strikes were recorded across Britain on Friday, veiling what was expected to be the longest lunar event of the 21st century.

Groups of people gathered around the UK, hoping to catch a glimpse of the red beauty.

However, revellers on Primrose Hill, north London, were treated only to the light from the London skyline.

The lunar eclipse, which was estimated to last around 103 minutes, saw the “total” phase end at around 10.13pm, with the moon passing through the Earth’s darkest shadow and take on a red hue.

But a blanket of grey cloud spoiled any chance of catching a glimpse for most people across the UK: from Hampshire and Wiltshire in the south to Hull in east Yorkshire, Liverpool in the north-west and Dublin in Ireland.

People have taken to social media to vent their frustrations.

One user tweeted: “Britain has had clear, cloudless skies every single day for two months.

“Tonight will be the rarely seen blood moon eclipse.

“It’s cloudy and raining.”

Another user was similarly disappointed, posting on the microblogging site: “Wouldn’t you know it, weeks of clear night skies, then tonight, cloud, cloud and more cloud.”

Some Brits were luckier than others, and managed to spy the moon.

Grenadier Guards stationed in Iraq shared images of soldiers gazing at a red-sheened moon hanging in a clear sky.

For those lucky enough, and unlike a solar eclipse, the lunar event could be viewed without wearing protective eye wear.

The next total lunar eclipse in the UK is expected on January 19 2019.