South Africans are among the millions of people that have witnessed the longest lunar eclipse this century.

As the Moon passed through the Earth’s shadow, it turned a striking shade of red, creating a phenomenon referred to as a ‘blood’ moon.

In Cape Town, a large crowd gathered at the V&A Waterfront for the sighting of the lunar eclipse.

The South African Astronomical Observatory set up six telescopes for members of the public.

Science Engagement Astronomer Dr Daniel Cunnama says, “Mars is very bright tonight (Friday), so it’s on the opposite side of the earth, we are essentially getting full Mars… the whole disc is illuminated, and mars is very very close to the earth at the moment, one of the closest it will ever get close to it, so Mars will be very big, we’ll also get to see that, and through the telescope we will see Venus, we’ll be able to see Jupiter as it moves around it, as well as Saturn, the rings around Saturn, we’re in for a real treat tonight (Friday). “