No it’s not like a scene out of a sci-fi flick where there are three moons floating side by side. It’s just one moon, but it’s a very rare astronomical event on Jan 31 (Wednesday) when it takes on three conditions – a lunar eclipse, a blue moon and a supermoon.
The last time the planets aligned this way was almost 152 years ago in 1866. Here’s a breakdown of the three stages of the moon:
Lunar eclipse: A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon enters the earth’s shadow, and because it takes on a red colour during a total eclipse, it’s also called a ‘blood’ moon (so technically there are 4 moon conditions ;)). The last total lunar eclipse visible in Singapore happened on April 4, 2015, and the next blood moon is due May 26, 2021.
Blue moon: There’s usually only one full moon per calendar month. However, the full moon Jan 31 is actually the second full moon of the month – this is called the ‘blue’ moon. The moon isn’t blue, it’s red since it’s a solar eclipse; the name is actually given for its rarity – you know the phrase ‘once in a blue moon‘? – as it only occurs once every 2 years and 8 months.
Supermoon: We all know that supermoons are super large. This occurs when a full moon is closest to earth; remember the May 21, 2016 occurrence?
In summary, it’s a red, rare and gigantic moon. So remember to look up at the night skies this Jan 31 and bring your best camera!
If you want to look at the moon real close, you can head to the Singapore Science Centre where there will be telescopes set up on site – food vendors from Street Food Circus will also be present. The viewing session from 7.30pm to 10.30pm; admission to the event is free and registration is not required.