28 Nov 2012

Past Entry 17

December 11 2011

Finally I've been able to observe a lunar eclipse! Last night the sky around my area was fortunately cloudless, which allowed my dad and I to observe the event clearly. He even got to take photos of the moon as we stood near one of the state land plots beside the Compass Point shopping mall. Turns out the whole phenomenon stretched for more than a few hours, so it turned out to be quite a neck-straining and leg-tiring experience staring at the pale scarlet disc above our heads.

Definitely a much better experience than the first lunar eclipse of 2011. That was sometime in June when I wrote one of the Past Entries (I think the 12th Entry) while waiting to go out with my dad to the Singapore Science Centre. There was a movie-screening event held there as public member anticipated the start of the eclipse. Unlike last night, the first lunar eclipse was supposed to be observable during the wee hours of the morning, about 1am onwards if I recall. 

When we arrived there the car park was almost full and close to pitch black. We had to take a VERY long walk towards the field where the public gathered. Even before we reached the field we had already lowered our hopes of observing the eclipse because we had seen huge grey clouds gathering in the sky. 

They were screening a Transformers movie as many people lingered around waiting for the momentous event. Unfortunately as we expected, it started drizzling, so we made our way into the café inside the nearby building, hopefully to wait for the rain to stop. The opposite happened: the rain evolved into a huge downpour that caused all the eager people who were waiting outside to scurry indoors. We were stuck for a few hours because the monsoon rain wouldn't back down, so we decided to have a really early breakfast at the café. The food was actually not bad! Still we had to wait for a long time before we could drive back home...

...which is why I feel I was much luckier last night. The eclipse started at a much more convenient time of about 9pm, so no need to set alarms to ring in the super early morning. Also the sky was perfectly clear with no indication of possible downpours (except after the moon had almost escaped the shadow). So hopefully when this post comes up, I'll be able to see the 2nd lunar eclipse of 2012. That one will be prenumbral so I don't think I'll be able to see as red a moon then, but it'll still be an unusual sight to see anyway!