How To See The Super Blue Blood Moon 2018 In Malaysia
Not only is it Thaipusam today and Federal Territory Day tomorrow (for some of us, anyway), you’ll also get to see a rare natural phenomenon — the super blue moon lunar eclipse.
What is a Supermoon?
It might sound like a distant cousin of Superman, but the supermoon phenomenon has nothing to do with Clark Kent. Supermoons occur when “the full moon coincides with the moon’s closest approach to Earth in its orbit”, according to Space.com. What’s interesting is that the supermoon that occurs on 31st January 2018 is actually part of a trilogy of supermoons — the first one occurred on 3rd December 2017, while the second supermoon appeared on 1st January 2018.
This particular supermoon, however, also coincides with a lunar eclipse that will be best seen in western United States, the Pacific and eastern Asia. The last time a moon eclipse and a lunar eclipse coincided was on 27th September 2015. Supermoons are usually called “blood moons” due to its blood-red colour.
What is the difference between a Supermoon and a Regular Moon?
To the naked eye, there won’t be much difference in size for the supermoon. It’s “30 percent brighter and 14 percent larger than usual” according to Sky & Telescope magazine senior editor Alan MacRobert, but this can be better seen with a telescope.
However, you’ll definitely be able to tell the difference during the moon rise since this will create an optical illusion that the moon is bigger. You’ll also be able to see that the moon has turned blood red.
The reason why the 31st January 2018 moon is also called a blue moon is because the eclipses happened twice in 1 calendar month.
How can I see the Supermoon?
The supermoon will occur from 6:51pm on the 31st of January 2018 to 12:08am on 1st February 2018. A total eclipse will occur at 9:29pm, while the moonrise will occur at 7:17pm (this may not as visible as it occurs below the horizon), and the partial eclipse will begin at 7:48pm.
You’ll be able to see the total eclipse from 8:51pm to 10:07pm. This will be most visible to the naked eye simply because the moon will become red.
For those of you who are curious to see how the lunar eclipse will look like at the other side of the world, you can visit https://www.nasa.gov/nasalive to check out the eclipse live at the same time.
Timings of the Supermoon on 31st January 2018
|6:51pm||Penumbral Eclipse begins | Below horizon | Not directly visible|
|7:17pm||Moonrise | Below horizon | Not directly visible|
|7:48pm||Partial Eclipse begins | Moon is getting red|
|8:51pm||Total Eclipse begins | Red Moon|
|9:29pm||Maximum Eclipse | Moon in the centre of the shadow|
|10:07pm||Total Eclipse ends|
|11:11pm||Partial Eclipse ends|
|12:08am||Penumbral Eclipse ends|
Where can I see the Supermoon in Malaysia?
These are some places which organised activities so you will be able to see the supermoon as a community (according to the New Straits Times):
- National Planetarium, Kuala Lumpur
- Teluk Kemang Observatory, Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan
- Selangor Observatory, Sungai Lang Parit Baru
- Sungai Ayer Tawar
- Ceral Al-Khawarizmi Hall, Tanjung Bidara, Melaka
- Tok Jembal Beach, Terengganu (organised by Kusza Observatory)
- Malaysia Langkawi National Observatory
- Tun Mustapha Tower, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah (Sabah Stargazers Observatory)
- Observatory of Kota Bharu, Kampung Kubang Rawa, Salor, Kelantan
Of course, if you have a pair of binoculars or a mini telescope of your own, you can see the supermoon in the comforts of your own home.
When will the Supermoon / Lunar Eclipse next occur?
The next total lunar eclipse will happen on 28th July 2018, 1:14am to 7:28am. It won’t be considered a blue moon because it wouldn’t be part of a series of eclipses that happen in a month — those only happen once every 2.5 years.
Where will you be watching the supermoon tonight?
If you happen to miss it, or if the skies aren’t too clear, you don’t need to worry. Just get yourself a telescope or two from Lazada (with up to 11% cashback) to prepare for the next time the sun and the moon decide to cross paths.
*Featured Image Credit: Bryan Goff | Unsplash
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