South Africans will be able to see a full lunar eclipse, the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st century so far visible from South Africa. The full moon will begin to rise over the country just after sunset and begin to darken as it enters Earth’s shadow by 19:15 South Africa time.
At about 20:25, the moon will start appearing to change shape as it gradually moves into the umbra, the darkest part of the Earth’s shadow.
The moon will be totally eclipsed from 21:30 up until 23:13, and by 00:19 will have moved out of Earth’s umbral shadow and the eclipse will be over.
The next total lunar eclipse visible from start to finish in South Africa and anywhere on the continent will only be in 2025, so try not to miss this one!
Here are 5 great places to watch the lunar eclipse in South Africa on Friday 27 July
You will be able to join The Astronomical Society of Southern Africa Johannesburg Centre (ASSAJHB) to watch the South Africa lunar eclipse from the highest point in Johannesburg! Come and see this marvellous event through telescopes on the hill. Just imagine the stark beauty and dream about travelling there one day. There will also be warm drinks, food and blazing fires to keep you warm and comfortable.
Location: Johannesburg Observatory, top of the hill at the Herbert Baker Library. Map and directions.
What to bring: Dress warmly and bring chairs
Join photographers and others at Rietvlei Nature Reserve in Pretoria for this unique experience. They have been afforded the opportunity to photograph or watch the Lunar Eclipse from within the reserve. Everybody will meet at the main gate at 18h00 and then will move on to a suitable spot in the reserve.
Location: Rietvlei Nature Reserve, 0001 Pretoria, South Africa
Time: 18h00 – 23h59
Entrance: R100.00 per person
Bookings: Davie at firstname.lastname@example.org
What to bring: It will be very cold. Bring your cameras, camping chairs, suitable warm clothing, flasks of coffee and your own refreshments.
Join the We Love Magalies group for the longest lunar eclipse of the century at MelonRouge, Magaliesburg. There will be bottomless bonfires, live music, gluhwein, boeretroos and a variety of soups and bread! Telescopes will be set up with an informative talk.
Location: Bekker School Road, Zeekoeihoek, Magaliesburg, Gauteng, South Africa 1791
Time: 19h00 – 02h00
Entrance: R150 per person, R50 for kids under 10
Bookings: 079 680 6050
What to bring: Bring your own beanies, blankets, binoculars and torches with red lights will help.
Join the Cape Centre, Astronomical Society of Southern Africa (ASSA), an association of amateur astronomers alongside professional astronomers from the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) who will be offering the public a guided tour with an array of telescopes along the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. The evening’s observing programme will begin at sunset (18:00) with a tour of the Solar System with numerous instruments as large as 270mm in diameter. The planets Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars will be visible for telescopic viewing, weather allowing.
Location: V&A Waterfront, Breakwater Boulevard, 8002 Cape Town, Western Cape
Time: 18h00 – 22h00
You can join a “night sky safari” featuring Saturn, Jupiter and a total Lunar Eclipse at a star gazing evening with Celestial Events at Belgrace Boutique Hotel in White River, Mpumalanga.
Location: R538 – close to Nelspruit Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport, 1240 White River, Mpumalanga
Time: 18h00 – 22h00
Entrance: R275 per person, R125. kids under 12 years
Bookings: 076 539 0409 or email email@example.com