While we were all glued to our TV screens to watch the President’s address on Monday evening [December 14], the sky was showing off with a stunning performance.
A partial solar eclipse created a mesmerising picture of a fiery, glowing moon behind the vibrant clouds. Resident Kyle Champion was lucky enough to snap some images of the moment at Melkbosstrand Beach.
A partial solar eclipse occurs when the Moon comes between the Sun and Earth, but the Moon only partially covers the Sun’s disk.
This means that the Moon, the Sun and Earth don’t align in a perfectly straight line, and the Moon casts only the outer part of its shadow, the penumbra, on Earth. From our perspective, this looks like the Moon has taken a bite out of the Sun.
The partial solar eclipse began at 6.51pm, reached its maximum point at 7.43pm and ended at approximately 7.53pm, lasting for a total period of one hour and one minute.
If you missed this exciting astronomical occurrence, fear not. On December 21, the closest great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in 800 years will occur, making it appear as if they are almost touching in the sky.
A conjunction is when two objects appear close to each other in the sky. Astronomers also describe a conjunction as the moment of minimum separation between two objects as viewed from the Earth.
The great conjunction of these two planets will be visible across the world, although the quality of visibility will differ depending on the night sky. In Cape Town, it should be visible at 8.20pm, according to Time and Date.
Picture: Facebook / Kyle Champion