In Underberg night skies resemble a massive, startling kaleidoscope. Skies are darker at higher altitudes because the higher you are the less light pollution and haze affects the atmosphere. This is the reason why during the day the skies in this area are so remarkably blue but at night the added darkness magnifies the entire cosmos and the clarity is astounding. This is such a perfect area to see the eclipse on Friday evening.
As you stare at the sky on Friday night bear a thought of touring our part of the world soon, to stand on the Roof of Africa.
All of South Africa will see a total eclipse of the moon on Friday evening, 27 July, starting at 20h24, according to the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa.
Lungelo Matangira | about 21 hours ago
JOHANNESBURG – Remember to look up in the sky later this week because a historic lunar eclipse will be visible in South Africa.
All of South Africa will see a total eclipse of the moon on Friday evening, 27 July, starting at 20h24, according to the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa (ASSA).
This will be a historical eclipse as it will last three hours and 55 minutes, making it the longest eclipse of this century. Additionally, near the eclipsed “blood moon” on Friday will be the “red planet” Mars shining at its brightest in 15 years.
All of this is easily visible with the naked eye.
“The moon will start changing shape as it enters the shadow of the Earth at 20h24. From 21h30 until 23h13, it will be totally eclipsed, but faintly lit by light refracted by the Earth’s atmosphere, which should give it a pale reddish colour. At 23h13 the moon starts recovering from the eclipse, which will be over by 24h19,” ASSA says.
South Africa’s next total lunar eclipse is early morning of 16 May 2022
A Lesotho myth as told to me by a young Basotho boy.
At the top of the Sani Pass lies a sleeping dragon. He sprawls across the top of the pass, his scales rippling in the harsh winds and his snoring quietly echoing through the mountains. His long dappled tail bends sharply all the way down the mountain and within the pointed rectangular tip lies the base of the Pass.
Occasionally the dragon will awake. He then lifts his huge head and sniffs the air expectantly and suddenly piercing the silence with ear splitting roars. The thunder flashes across the hills and the valleys and the children quiver at the sound.
Then the dragon tosses his head and flaps his wings blowing a gale across the open fields. With a massive shriek he breathes a river of fire across the sky. The lightning crashes into the rocks and mountain peaks and throws electrical sparks through the clouds. The clouds bruise with colour as they rush across the sky obliterating the sun.
In the gloom the clouds hiss as they are torn apart by the sheaths of fire. From their bellies copious torrents of water are released to douse the flames.
The dragon shakes his head in response to the flood of rain and gently exhales a slow flicker of steam into the downpour. The clouds scurry away leaving exquisite double rainbows in the remaining steaming air.
The dragon shivers and wriggles his wet body as the last droplets of water seep into the rocky ground. Suddenly there is no more fire and in the silence everything becomes still.
Slowly the clouds creep back and settle comfortably in the sky, their bruised bellies turning to pale yellow and green. The heat still rising from the ground is comforting and soft white sheets slowly drift down to cover the harshness of the storm.
The silence becomes loud whilst the entire horizon becomes covered with a glistening white blanket.
The greatest honour is to those whom the Dragon allows to climb his tail as he slumbers.
Editor: Numerous dinosaurs footprints and fossils have been discovered in Lesotho including the Lesothosaurus. Perhaps this myth has been passed through the generations and may even relate to dinosaurs from 200 million years ago.