Danielle Garrett
1 minute read
24 Jul 2018
5:01 pm

Remember to catch the longest full lunar eclipse of the century this week

Danielle Garrett

It's coming this Friday to a night sky near you, and the next one will only happen in 2025.

Image: Pexels

The whole of South Africa will be able to witness the longest lunar eclipse of the century this Friday, according to the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa (Assa).

The Centurion Rekord reports that the eclipse will start at 8.24pm and last until 19 minutes past midnight.

“Most of Africa, Europe, the Middle East and eastern Asia will see this eclipse,” says Assa.

“For far western Africa and Europe, the eclipse will have started by the time the moon rises.”

The eclipse on Friday will be historical, as it is will be longest one recorded in the 21st century at a staggering three hours and 55 minutes.

You won’t need any special equipment to enjoy witnessing the eclipse either.

“Don’t miss Mars – the bright orange ‘star’ that will be near the moon on eclipse night,” Assa advises.

The full moon will rise just after sunset on Friday.

At 7.13pm South African time, the moon will start moving into the penumbral (partial) shadow of the earth. Less direct sunlight will reach the eastern (lower) side of the moon, and you may notice the moon dimming slightly from that side.

At 8.24pm, the moon will start moving into the umbral shadow of the earth. From this time, the moon will appear to change shape.

From 9.30pm to 11:13pm, the moon will be totally eclipsed.

At 0.19am, the moon will be out of the earth’s umbral shadow and the observable eclipse will be over.

The next total lunar eclipse visible from start to finish from anywhere in Africa will be in 2025.

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