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Total Lunar Eclipse




Total Eclipse of the Moon: A special celestial event not to be missed

You can watch the longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century at Dirtopia Trail Centre & Café on Delvera near Stellenbosch on Friday, 27 July.

Willie Koorts, a founder member of the Orion Observation Astronomy Group (OOG) will be there to show slides while explaining the phenomenon and members of the organisation will bring their telescopes! In the event of bad weather, live streaming from online sites will take place in the Café on a screen.

DATE: Friday, 27 July. A brief talk by Willie Koorts wiill start at around 19h45.

VENUE: Dirtopia, Delvera Farm, R44, Stellenbosch

COST: R100 per person includes Soup & Bread buffet table with three soups and various breads

Fully licenced, other drinks will be available, as well as coffee, brownies and cake.


The visible phases of the eclipse will last about four hours.  The total phase of the eclipse will last 1 hour and 43 minutes, during which Earth's natural satellite will turn a spectacular red or ruddy-brown colour.

Unlike with solar eclipses, you need no special equipment to observe lunar eclipses. These latter events, which occur when the moon passes into Earth's shadow, are safe to view directly with the naked eye, telescopes, or binoculars.
The Moon takes on a reddish colour during a total lunar eclipse due to the refraction of sunlight through the Earth’s atmosphere, which bends the longer wavelengths of red light and filters out the shorter wavelengths of blue light. This is the same phenomenon (Rayleigh scattering) that causes beautiful  sunrises and sunsets.

For those who don’t know Willie Koorts – he is a Senior Technician at the South African Astronomical Observatory. He is also a permanent guest on the very popular RSG programme "Sterre en Planete" and author of the regular column Nightwatch/Sterreweg in GO/WEG Magazine. He will do a brief talk from around 19h45.
ASSA Sky Guide schedule for 27 July:
Moon enters Earth's dark shadow (umbra): 20:42:02
Total eclipse starts: 21:29:50
Maximum eclipse: 22:21:45
Total eclipse ends 23:13:37
Moon leaves Earth's dark shadow (umbra): 00:19:27
The planets will also be putting up a great show. Planets visible on the night of the eclipse: Mars, Saturn, Jupiter and Venus.

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