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SA to witness longest lunar eclipse of the century this week

All of South Africa will see a total eclipse of the moon on Friday evening, 27 July, starting at 20h24, according to the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa.

FILE: Pixabay.com

JOHANNESBURG - Remember to look up in the sky later this week because a historic lunar eclipse will be visible in South Africa.

All of South Africa will see a total eclipse of the moon on Friday evening, 27 July, starting at 20h24, according to the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa (ASSA).

This will be a historical eclipse as it will last three hours and 55 minutes, making it the longest eclipse of this century. Additionally, near the eclipsed “blood moon” on Friday will be the “red planet” Mars shining at its brightest in 15 years.

All of this is easily visible with the naked eye.

"The moon will start changing shape as it enters the shadow of the Earth at 20h24. From 21h30 until 23h13, it will be totally eclipsed, but faintly lit by light refracted by the Earth’s atmosphere, which should give it a pale reddish colour. At 23h13 the moon starts recovering from the eclipse, which will be over by 00h19," ASSA says.

ASSA will be hosting public eclipse-viewing events in Cape Town at the V&A Waterfront and in Johannesburg at Observatory.

South Africa’s next total lunar eclipse is early morning of 16 May 2022.

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