These are the best places in SA to watch the ‘blood moon’ lunar eclipse, if the weather holds
- A spectacular full eclipse of the Moon will start at 9:30PM on Friday 27 July.
- The two-hour eclipse will produce a 'blood moon', something last seen in 2011.
- These are the events being held around the eclipse, the likes of which will not be seen again until 2029.
South Africans will be treated to a rare astronomical spectacle on Friday 27 July: a full lunar eclipse.
"This spectacle will capture the attention of millions, and we are especially fortunate here to have what are front-row seats to it," said Eddy Nijeboer, Chairperson, Cape Centre of the Astronomical Society of South Africa (ASSA). "This extraordinary event will not come again to the region until 2029."
Depending on clear weather, South Africans should have a great view of the full Moon slipping into the Earth’s shadow, an event which last happened in SA seven years ago, said Dr Daniel Cunnama, Science Engagement Astronomer at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO)
It will also give South African star gazers a chance to make up for missing out on the rare super blood moon visible in North America, Hawaii, the Middle East, Russia, India, and Australia, earlier this year.
The "blood" in the name comes from the reddish-brown colour the Moon takes on when Earth enters between it and the Sun, cutting off the direct light that usually brighten the lunar surface to white.
The eclipse will be visible country-wide and will be easily and safely visible to the naked eye.
The full Moon first begins to darken as it enters the earth’s shadow at 19:15, with totality beginning at 21:30.
The duration of total eclipse will be nearly two hours.
You should also be able to spot the planets Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars.
These are the events planned around the lunar eclipse.
- Members of the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa (ASSA), an association of amateur astronomers, alongside professional astronomers from the SAAO, will be offering the public a guided tour with an array of telescopes along the V&A Waterfront. The event kicks off at 6PM, from the Flag Pole Terrace.
- Members of the Orion Observation Astronomy Group will set up telescopes at Dirtopia Trail Centre and Café on Delvera, and the eclipse will feature on-screen in the cafe. (Entry is R50)
- Join the ASSA JHB from 6PM at the Johannesburg Observatory, on the hill top at 18A Gill Street, Observatory.
- MelonRouge is setting up telescopes and hosting a talk. (Entry is R150)
- The Hermanus Astronomy Centre is setting up telescopes at in the parking terrain of NG Kerk Onrusrivier from 8PM.
Receive a single email every morning with all our latest news: Sign up here.
Also from Business Insider South Africa:
- Here’s why MTN actually capped free Twitter: a loophole that landed some customers R18,000 worth of free data per day
- Vodacom went to court to be allowed to reach shareholders via SMS, because the Post Office was on strike
- KPMG’s name has been stripped from a massive new Cape Town building, now renamed after a piece of rope
- How to turn R10 into R1 million over time. Hint: Don’t use a savings account.