Stargazers enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience


A visitor having a look at the Super Blood Blue Moon phenomenon using a telescope at the Kuching Waterfront. The event organised by Sultan Iskandar Planetarium attracted over 100 stargazers and astronomy enthusiasts. - ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE / THE STAR -

A visitor having a look at the Super Blood Blue Moon phenomenon using a telescope at the Kuching Waterfront. The event organised by Sultan Iskandar Planetarium attracted over 100 stargazers and astronomy enthusiasts. - ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE / THE STAR -

KUCHING: Over 100 stargazers, astrophotograpers and tourists alike gathered at the Kuching Waterfront to catch sight of the rare triple display of the "Super Blue Blood Moon".

The sighting of the rare astronomical lunar event here, organised by the Sultan Iskandar Planetarium, was aimed at enhancing astrological experiences and generating interest in astronomy.

"This is definitely a once-in-a-blue moon experience. A rare phenomenon that today's generation is lucky to witness.

“For a science and astronomy enthusiast like me, this is definitely an enriching experience," Sultan Iskandar Planetarium curator Ismandy Ali said at the event.

The planetarium prepared two telescopes for the public to witness the phenomenon. He said the lunar eclipse could be seen with the naked eye in Kuching from 9 to 11pm.

"The three-in-one celestial phenomenon, which can be seen across the Malaysian skies, last occurred 152 years ago in 1866.

"Nobody who witnessed the event then is alive today and it will be our great granchildren's turn when this rare astronomical event re-occurs," he added.

Briton David Levin, who was in Kuching with his family, was excited at the opportunity to witness the event.

The family-of-five were strolling at the waterfront when they were invited by other visitors to catch a glimpse of the Super Blue Blood Moon.

"I'm not a fan of stargazing but this experience has tickled my interest a little. I'll definitely visit a planetarium and see what's on offer," Levin said.

The Supermoon phenomenon is due to the moon's position from earth, which appeared larger than most nights. The event is also called a Bluemoon due to the fullmoon occurrence twice within a month according to the Gregorian calendar. The first full moon this month was Jan 2.

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