JOHANNESBURG – South Africans are in a for a treat on Friday with the longest total lunar eclipse of the century taking place.
According to the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa, at around 19h13 pm, the moon will start moving into the penumbral (partial) shadow of the Earth. Less direct sunlight will reach the eastern (lower) side of Moon, and you may notice the Moon dimming slightly from that side.
We’re hopeful for a gap in the clouds in Cape Town tonight for the #LunarEclipse. The @SAAO and @AstroSocSA telescopes will be set up from 18:00 at the @VandAWaterfront Flag Pole Terrace, just alongside the amphitheatre: https://t.co/p7fYIWh0bBhttps://t.co/8mmw6mKGNf pic.twitter.com/8F3HD5qlUp
— SAAO (@SAAO) July 27, 2018
At around 20h24, it will advance to change shape.
The moon will be totally eclipsed at 21h30.
You don’t need any special equipment to watch the eclipse. All you need is to go outside and watch.
Don’t forget to spot Mars (looking like a bright orange star).
— eNCA (@eNCA) July 27, 2018
The next total lunar eclipse visible in South Africa will only be in 2025.
Astronomers around the country have organised public viewings.
This is where you can go for the public viewings:
V&A Waterfront, Flagpole Terrace (alongside the amphitheatre)
Roggeveld Primary School in Sutherland
Johannesburg Observatory, top of the hill at the Herbert Baker Library