A year after we so successfully hosted the 2010 Soccer World Cup, Africa has been awarded the latest spectacular global event – the 15th June Total Lunar Eclipse.
Where the eclipse can be seen from
And it’s not called the Total Lunar Eclipse for some sponsorship reason. Although much of the rest of the planet will have partial coverage, we get the whole thing and the best seats in the house are right here in our own backyard.
In a real David and Goliath showdown, Sol, the star of our solar system (sporting a waist measurement of 1.4 million kilometres and weighing in at some 2 million million million million million kilograms) opposes the diminutive Moon (with a belt size of 3,500 kilometres and at a sprightly 7.35×1022 kilograms, that’s the number 735 followed by 20 zeros!).
But don’t worry about the underdog – the only thing that will put our nearest neighbour in the shade is, well, our home planet Earth’s shadow!
Don’t expect one of those protracted, dragged out, multi-week things. The opening ceremony begins at 20:23 on the evening of June 15, the main event getting underway from 21:22 and lasting until 23:03. Then straight into the closing festivities, everything wrapped up shortly after midnight.
No expensive tickets, stadiums, fan walks and definitely no need for special viewing equipment. You can watch the entire show with your own eyes from the comfort of your stoep, without having to queue for public transport home afterwards. But, seeing as it’s late in the evening, maybe hold back on those vuvuzelas!
A match-up like this hasn’t been seen here since February 2008 and won’t happen again before September 2015, so don’t miss the opportunity. Come on out and support this astronomical event.