Singapore

'Super blood blue moon' entrances Singaporeans

A rare "super blood blue moon" kept thousands of Singaporeans captivated for about three hours last night, with some peering through telescopes to catch the cosmic event that was also witnessed by others around the world.

A lunar eclipse, a blue moon and a supermoon occurred simultaneously in a rare coincidence that last happened on March 31, 1866 in North America. Those in Asia had a chance to see this phenomenon in 1982.

An estimated five thousand visitors flocked to The Observatory at The Science Centre Singapore to use one of 11 telescopes set up to catch the lunar eclipse.

A special viewing session was held from 7.30pm to 10.30pm.

At around 8.50pm, a full eclipse was visible, prompting visitors to whip out their phones and cameras to capture the moment.

Ms Sally Sun, 28, a mechanical engineer, who viewed the full eclipse through one of the telescopes, said: "There was a gradient of brown to red. I've seen the blood moon in many photos, but it's amazing and meaningful to see it for yourself, as I'm a big fan of astronomy."

A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon enters the earth's shadow. In a total lunar eclipse, the moon takes on a red colour and is known as a blood moon.

Since the full moon last night will be the second full moon of the month, it is dubbed a blue moon. It does not appear blue, but is given the name for its rarity as it occurs once every two years and eight months.

As for the supermoon, the term refers to when a full moon coincides with the moon being closest to earth.- ADRIAN LIM•

WORLD