Haze obscures view of 'blood moon' in Singapore leaving stargazers disappointed

Lunar eclipse as seen from Labrador Park. -- ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
Lunar eclipse as seen from Labrador Park. -- ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
A hazy 'Blood red' moon, in partial eclipse, seen in Singapore from Labrador Park. -- ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
A hazy 'Blood red' moon, in partial eclipse, seen in Singapore from Labrador Park. -- ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
Crowd gathers to see the lunar eclipse from Labrador Park. -- ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
Crowd gathers to see the lunar eclipse from Labrador Park. -- ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
Crowd gathers to see the lunar eclipse from Labrador Park. -- ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
Crowd gathers to see the lunar eclipse from Labrador Park. -- ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
Mr Albert Lim from the Astronomical Society of Singapore (TASOS) taking pictures of the lunar eclipse through his telescope at Labrador Park. -- ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
Mr Albert Lim from the Astronomical Society of Singapore (TASOS) taking pictures of the lunar eclipse through his telescope at Labrador Park. -- ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
Crowd gathers to see the lunar eclipse from Labrador Park. -- ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
Crowd gathers to see the lunar eclipse from Labrador Park. -- ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

SINGAPORE - The haze took the colour out of the "blood moon" on Wednesday night leaving stargazers here a glimpse of only the regular eclipse.

The total lunar eclipse which occurs a few times every year takes place when the Earth passes between the sun and the moon. As this happens, the moon will reflect the sun's light on the Earth's atmosphere causing the moon to take on a red hue.

At least 200 people gathered for the observation event organised by The Astronomical Society Of Singapore (Tasos) at Labrador Park, near the Tanjong Berlayer Beacon facing Sentosa on Wednesday.

The society's president Albert Ho said that the haze obscured the visibility of the red moon much to the disappointment of enthusiasts present there. "We would most likely be able to see it if not for the haze today," added Mr Ho, a 55-year-old system consultant at an engineering firm. He added however, that: "If it were cloudy or raining, it could have obscured the visibility of the moon too."

While the day started well, the air quality deteriorated over the course of Wednesday, and inched into the unhealthy band at 6pm. At 7pm, the 3 hr PSI reading was 105.

The total lunar eclipse was expected to take place between 6.27pm to 7.34pm.

The next total lunar eclipse is expected to take place in April next year.

Photographer William Lai, 38, one of the enthusiasts gathered at the event was disappointed that he didn't get to see the "blood moon" at Labrador Park yesterday. "It wasn't so hazy yesterday. I didn't expect today to be so hazy... maybe next time," he said.

Elsewhere in countries like Toyko and the United States, however, stargazers were treated to a visual spectacle of the "blood moon". The total eclipse happened at 6:25 am on the US east coast and lasted for about an hour, reported the Agence France Presse.

kcarolyn@sph.com.sg