Travel Here for the Best Views of July’s Lunar Eclipse


On July 27, the Moon will pass through the center of Earth’s shadow for the first time in seven years, creating the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st century.

North Americans, however, will have to sit this one out: The celestial event is primarily visible from the Eastern Hemisphere—Africa, Asia, Europe, and Australia.

According to the Internet, from my perch in Edinburgh, Scotland, I might catch the end of the full, partial, and penumbral eclipse between 10 p.m. on July 27 and 12:30 a.m. on July 28.

But those folks in the Middle East, South Africa, and floating in the Indian Ocean will have front-row seats to the Micro Blood Moon eclipse.

Whether you’re planning a last-minute vacation or just want to know which locations to follow on Instagram for filtered views, Time magazine compiled a list of the best places (based on forecast weather and duration) to see the shadowing of the Moon.

(All times and dates are local, provided by timeanddate.com.)

Cairo, Egypt

Begins: 7:14 p.m. July 27

Peak: 10:21 p.m. July 27

Ends: 1:28 a.m. July 28

Duration: 6 hours, 14 minutes

Head to the Great Pyramid of Giza or the Cairo Citadel for drool-worthy images among expected clear skies.

Harare, Zimbabwe

Begins: 7:14 p.m. July 27

Peak: 10:21 p.m. July 27

Ends: 1:28 a.m. July 28

Duration: 6 hours, 14 minutes

Enjoy the views—in the sky and on the ground—among the roaming wildlife of the capital city’s Mukuvisi Woodlands.

Limassol, Cyprus

Begins: 8:14 p.m. July 27

Peak: 11:21 p.m. July 27

Ends: 2:28 a.m. July 28

Duration: 6 hours, 14 minutes

The coastal city, known for its centuries-old castle, promises unrestricted views from the open-air Promenade Park.

Santorini, Greece

Begins: 8:18 p.m. July 27

Peak: 11:21 p.m. July 27

Ends: 2:28 a.m. July 28

Duration: 6 hours, 10 minutes

The stunning island, with its whitewashed, cubiform houses overlooking the sea, is not ideal for watching every phase of the eclipse. But, as Time pointed out, locals will be able to see “all of the Moon move into totality and all of the totality itself.”

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Begins: 9:14 p.m. July 27

Peak: 12:21 a.m. July 28

Ends: 3:28 a.m. July 28

Duration: 6 hours, 14 minutes

After a day of tanning on the beach, head inland for the clearest views: The Jumeirah Village Circle or Dubai Miracle Gardens will likely be popular spots. Or snag a hotel room at one of the city’s famously tall buildings for a different perspective.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes within Earth’s umbra, or shadow, which appears to “cover” part of the orb, turning it a deep shade of red. (That coloring, due to Rayleigh scattering, is the same effect that gives sunsets their beautiful complexion.)

Unlike January’s Super Blue Blood Moon, when the planetoid was circling quite near to us, on the day of this eclipse, the Full Moon is at its farthest from Earth, appearing smaller in the sky—hence the “micro” title.

Certainly the star of the show, this month’s total lunar eclipse is joined by an opening act: Mars is expected to be very close to the eclipsed Moon on July 27 and 28, making it easy to see with the naked eye (weather permitting).

An eclipse never travels alone: The lunar event is sandwiched between two partial solar eclipses on July 13 and Aug. 11.

For more, check out Geek’s lineup of the best eclipses in sci-fi history.

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