Biggest supermoon rounds off Chinese New Year

A supermoon, at 8.29pm last night, above a street lamp at Bedok Jetty. It coincided with the annual Lantern Festival, which marked the 15th and final day of Chinese New Year celebrations.
The supermoon seen next to the Singapore Flyer and as a backdrop to the Flower Clock, one of the exhibits for the iLight Singapore Bicentennial Edition, in the foreground. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG
The supermoon seen next to the Singapore Flyer and as a backdrop to the Flower Clock, one of the exhibits for the iLight Singapore Bicentennial Edition, in the foreground.
A supermoon, at 8.29pm last night, above a street lamp at Bedok Jetty. It coincided with the annual Lantern Festival, which marked the 15th and final day of Chinese New Year celebrations. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Many people in Singapore kept their eyes peeled for the supermoon last night, when the full moon was said to be the biggest and brightest this year.

The supermoon coincided with the annual Lantern Festival, which marked the 15th and final day of Chinese New Year celebrations, or "chap goh meh" in Hokkien.

Many astronomy enthusiasts, photographers and curious crowds flocked to Bedok Jetty, and had their cameras pointed at the sky, even before the supermoon was visible from about 7.30pm.

Lecturer Jeffrey Fang, 40, told The Straits Times that he was taking a stroll at the jetty at about 7pm when he noticed that the moon was "rounder than usual".

He said: "I went out for a walk as it was the Lantern Festival and I was pleasantly surprised to see the supermoon."

Mr Fang found out it was a supermoon only after his friends discussed it on social media.

He said he stayed past 9pm to admire the moon set against the changing colour of the sky, while sipping some wine.

Visitors to Bedok Jetty yesterday evening were in for a special treat when a supermoon - said to be the biggest and brightest of the year - appeared in the sky. The moon lit up the sky at about 7.30pm, but a bout of cloudy weather later kept it hidde
Supermoon brightens sky on Lantern Festival: Visitors to Bedok Jetty yesterday evening were in for a special treat when a supermoon - said to be the biggest and brightest of the year - appeared in the sky. The moon lit up the sky at about 7.30pm, but a bout of cloudy weather later kept it hidden until about 8.30pm, when it reappeared. Ideal locations to see the moon included those with a clear view of the eastern horizon, such as East Coast Park and Labrador Park. The supermoon coincided with the Lantern Festival yesterday, which marked the 15th and final day of Chinese New Year celebrations, or Chap Goh Meh. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

A bout of cloudy weather, which obscured the moon for about half an hour till 8.30pm, did not deter him and many others.

A Science Centre Singapore spokesman had said earlier that if the sky was clear, the best time to view the phenomenon would be at moonrise at around 7.30pm.

The best places to see it included East Coast Park and Labrador Park, which have a clear view of the eastern horizon.

 
 
 

Social media users in countries such as Thailand and Japan also shared their sightings of the supermoon online.

A supermoon occurs when the Moon is closest to the Earth in its orbit at the same time that it is full. This causes the moon to appear bigger and brighter in the night sky.

While a supermoon's brightness is dependent on Singapore's weather conditions, it will look slightly larger when compared with full moons in other months or with objects on the ground nearby, said the Science Centre spokesman.

Its colour may also change if the Earth's atmosphere has more water vapour or smoke particles.

Another supermoon will light up the sky on March 21. While this will be smaller than the one last night, it will be significantly larger than the smallest full moon of the year, said the spokesman.


SOURCES: SCIENCE CENTRE SINGAPORE, NASA, EARTHSKY.ORG; PHOTOS: ST FILE, REUTERS, STRAITS TIMES GRAPHICS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 20, 2019, with the headline 'Biggest supermoon rounds off Chinese New Year'. Print Edition | Subscribe