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South Africans to get a rare glimpse of lunar eclipse on Friday

Infographic of the lunar eclipse that will happen on Friday July 27, 2018. Date: Monday, July 23, 2018.
Infographic of the lunar eclipse that will happen on Friday July 27, 2018. Date: Monday, July 23, 2018.
Image: http://assa.saao.ac.za

A total eclipse of the moon. That is what South Africans will see with the naked eye on Friday night when they gaze up at the stars.

According to the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa (Assa)‚ it will the longest lunar eclipse this century – and will last from 8.24pm to just after midnight the following morning.

The moon will start changing shape when it enters the shadow of the Earth 8.24pm before it is fully eclipsed from 9.30pm to 11.13pm. The moon will be faintly lit by light that is refracted from the Earth’s atmosphere that give it a pale reddish colour.

The moon will then recover it is shape before the eclipse ends at about 12.19am.

“Near the eclipsed ‘blood moon’ on Friday will be the ‘red planet’ Mars‚ shining at its brightest since 2003 – our planet is overtaking Mars next week‚” Assa said.

The eclipse will also be visible in most parts of Africa‚ Europe‚ the Middle East and eastern Asia.

If you miss the lunar show on Friday night‚ you will have to wait until May 16 2022 to see the next eclipse.

The Astronomical Society of SA will hosting public viewing events Cape Town at the V&A Waterfront‚ in Johannesburg at the old Observatory in Observatory and at Pearly Beach‚ near Hermanus.

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