“If you’re ever feeling lonely, just look at the moon; someone, somewhere is looking right at it too.” – Anonymous
On Friday, 5 June the residents of Piet Retief were treated with a magnificent sunset, followed by a gorgeous full moon. This moon however, was a special one. It was the penumbral lunar eclipse, which is popularly called the ‘Strawberry Moon Eclipse’ and was visible from Africa, Asia, Australia, and even parts of Europe.
A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon moves into the Earth’s shadow. This can occur only when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are exactly or very closely aligned, with Earth between the other two. A lunar eclipse can occur only on the night of a full moon.
This Strawberry Moon Eclipse marked the start of eclipse season and will be followed by two others. On Sunday, 21 June citizens of the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Yemen, Oman, Pakistan, India, China and Taiwan and Guam will get to witness June’s annular solar eclipse, which is caused by the new moon moving directly in front of the Sun. This eclipse is also known as the “Ring of Fire”.
On Saturday, 4 July the penumbral Thunder Moon Eclipse will be visible from North America, South America and parts of Africa.
Lunar eclipses are enjoyed by people from all over the world and in the time we currently live in, where riots and wars and diseases are seen as the norm, it is comforting to know that Mother Nature can still bring everyone together and give us something to appreciate and look forward to.