‘Blood moon’ awes stargazers

Partially eclipsed moon during the lunar eclipse on Oct 8, 2014 - Photo by Hazarry bin Haji Ali Ahmad
Partially eclipsed moon during the lunar eclipse on Oct 8, 2014 – Photo by Hazarry bin Haji Ali Ahmad

STARGAZERS in the Americas and Asia were treated to a lunar eclipse Wednesday, a celestial show that bathed the moon in a reddish tint to create a “blood moon”.

In Brunei Darussalam, however, stargazers were disappointed not to catch the spectacle as clouds hindered the view of the eclipse.

The phenomenon can only been witness for a few minutes when the  moon was in between the clouds.

Spectacular total lunar eclipse tomorrow evening

A TOTAL lunar eclipse is set to occur tomorrow, October 8, and will be visible in Brunei between 6.03pm and 9.32pm.

It will be a spectacular astronomical event as the entire moon will pass through the earth’s shadow known as the umbra.

The eclipse will be visible in many areas of the world such as East Europe, much of Asia, Australia, North America, South America, Pacific and Atlantic.

In Brunei, eclipse watchers should be able to see the reddish-brown full moon rising low in the eastern horizon at 6.03 pm. The phenomenon occurs when the earth blocks most of the sunlight to the moon.

The moon is positioned deep in the Earth’s shadow at maximum eclipse at 6.55pm.

Sunlight will gradually reach the Moon’s surface as the Earth’s umbra will no longer cover the Moon at 7.22pm. The Moon will return slowly to its normal brilliance when the Penumbral Eclipse ends at 9.32 pm.

Moon altitude during the eclipse
Moon altitude during the eclipse

Unlike solar eclipses, lunar eclipse is completely safe to watch with the naked eye. We should be able to witness this phenomenon from our homes if the weather is clear.

Eclipse watchers are advised to go to a place with a clear view to the eastern horizon and a clear line of sight to the Moon to observe the natural phenomenon.

The next total eclipse visible in the Sultanate will not occur until January 31, 2018. On April 4 next year, Brunei will experience another lunar eclipse but it will be a partial one.


// For press release

Partial lunar eclipse on April 26 2013

The April 26, 2013 partial lunar eclipse will be visible over Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. Only a tiny sliver of the moon will be covered by the Earth’s umbral shadow at maximum eclipse. Eclipse will be visible from 2.03 am till 6.11 am in Brunei.

Partial Eclipse of the Moon
The entire eclipse is visible from Brunei Darussalam.

Eclipse Time
Moon enters penumbra: 2013 Apr 26 02:01:31
Moon enters umbra: 2013 Apr 26 03:51:35
Maximum eclipse: 2013 Apr 26 04:07:16
Moon leaves umbra: 2013 Apr 26 04:23:07
Moon leaves penumbra: 2013 Apr 26 06:13:05

Magnitude and Duration
Umbral magnitude: 0.020
Penumbral magnitude: 1.011
Duration of umbral phase: 0h 31m 32s
Duration of penumbral phase: 4h 11m 34s

Spectacular celestial conjunctions on Dec 25 2012

Planet and Lunar Conjunctions on Dec 25 2012
Planet and Lunar Conjunctions on Dec 25 2012

The moon, mighty Jupiter and bright stars cluster of Pleiades appear in celestial conjunction on the night of Dec 25, 2012. Stargazers will be able to see the moon is closed to the planet and stars cluster through the night sky. A great opportunity to all astrophotographers in Brunei to capture the spectacular event.

2008 Aug 17 Partial Lunar Eclipse