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Where & when to view the 2019 solar/lunar eclipses in SA

On 21 January, the total lunar eclipse will not be visible in South Africa, but it can be observed there as a penumbral lunar eclipse.

FILE: A solar eclipse. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa, along with other parts of the world, will be treated to three solar and lunar eclipses this year, with the first total lunar eclipse taking place in late January.

On 21 January, the total lunar eclipse will not be visible in South Africa, but it can be observed there as a penumbral lunar eclipse, which can be a bit hard to see as the shadowed part is only a little bit fainter than the rest of the Moon, according to Time and Date.

The penumbral lunar eclipse will be at its peak at 5:30am and end in a few minutes. You can watch a livestream of the total lunar eclipse on YouTube.

On the evening of 16 July, a partial lunar eclipse - when the earth's shadow covers only parts of the Moon - will be visible in South Africa. There are no other locations on earth where the Moon appears completely covered during this event.

The partial eclipse will be visible from 11:30pm to 1am.

The last eclipse will be the Mercury Transit on 11 November. According to Time and Date, Mercury's path in front of the sun is almost a horizontal line. However, throughout this day, the angle from which we observe the sun from Earth will make it look like it passes in a curve.

"Planet transits are normally visible from all locations where the Sun is up. However, because of different viewing angles, the start and end times can vary by a few minutes." Time and Date says.

The partial transit will begin at 2:35pm and will last until sunset at around 6:30pm.

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