KUALA LUMPUR – Rain has hampered the vision of hundreds of people who had gathered at the National Planetarium tonight to witness the Super Blue Blood Moon, a phenomenon that occurred after 152 years.
Due to the rain since in the evening, the rare celestial sight could not be seen as the clouds had covered the moon.
Despite the uncalled situation, the Planetarium managed to present the visitors a live feed session from Nasa’s Griffith Observatory for about 30 minutes and sighting of the eclipse from Langkawi’s national observatory for them to witness the phenomenon.
Among the visitors were Balqis Mohamad, 28, who visited the Planetarium to see the eclipse.
“I was a bit disappointed not being able to see the phenomenon as it rained, but it is something that should not be missed as it is a rare phenomenon,” said the lass who came alone to the Planetarium.
The Super Blue Blood Moon phenomenon, which was last observed on March 31, 1866, is a combination of Supermoon, Bluemoon and Bloodmoon phenomena.
Supermoon is when the moon is positioned closest to earth, 14 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter.
As for the total lunar eclipse, which is called blood moon, occurs when the earth sits between the sun and the moon, forcing sunlight to pass through the atmosphere.
The atmosphere then filters out most of the blue colour light hence, leaving the orange-red hue on the moon.
In Malaysia, the eclipse phase of the moon began at 7.48 pm until 11.11 pm while the total lunar eclipse started at 8.51 pm before reaching its maximum phase at 9.29 pm and ends at 10.07 pm.
In PUTRAJAYA, hundreds of residents joined the congregation at the Putra Mosque to witness the Super Blue Blood Moon phenomenon through six computerised telescopes made available by the Malaysian Islamic Development Department, Federal Territories Mufti Office and the Malaysian Survey and Mapping Department.
However, they were also disappointed as heavy rain since late afternoon, as well as thick cloud formation, blocked their view.
Earlier, the congregation performed the prayer of the eclipse (Solat Khusuf).
The eclipse observation event ended with a special sermon on the eclipse delivered by Putra Mosque Grand Imam Datuk Abd Manaf Mat.
In KELANTAN, 40 members of Kelantan Amateur Astronomy Association and 40 students performed the prayer of the eclipse at the Kota Bharu Observation Deck in Kampung Kubang Rawa, Salor.
Its secretary, Abdullah Hassan said three special telescopes were made available for the public to observe the eclipse.
In TERENGGANU, approximately 1,000 people flocked to the beach at Dapo Pata, Pantai Tok Jembal, Kuala Nerus since 7 pm to witness the eclipse.
Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UNISZA), through its East Coast Environment Research Institute (ESERI) organised the eclipse observation programme dubbed “Jom Teropong Bulan”, to give the opportunity to students and local residents to witness the special lunar eclipse.
Six telescopes and special binoculars were provided to the visitors, besides briefing on the lunar eclipse phenomenon.
However, ESERI lecturer said due to rain and cloud, they could only observe the eclipse only for two minutes when it began at 8.51 and later when it ended at around 10 pm.
In NEGERI SEMBILAN, Yang Di-Pertuan Besar Negeri Sembilan Tuanku Muhriz Ibni Almarhum Tuanku Munawir was among the approximately 300 visitors who flocked the Telok Kemang Observation Deck (BCTK) in Port Dickson to witness the Super Blue Blood Moon phenomenon.
However, they were not able to witness the eclipse due to rain and thick cloud.
Some of them, who came early as 5 pm, were seen leaving at 9 pm as there were no signs that the rain would stop.
They were, however, were shown videos of previous eclipses witnessed in Malaysia, especially recorded at the BCTK. – BERNAMA