Super blue blood-moon phenomenon back after 152 years

PETALING JAYA - Stargazers and astrophotographers will gather at the National Planetarium and several spots around the country tonight between 7pm and 10pm to catch sight of the very rare triple display of a "blue moon", a super moon and a total lunar eclipse.

The three-in-one celestial phenomenon, which can be seen across Malaysian skies, last occurred 152 years ago in 1866.

National Planetarium scientific officer Mohd Zamri Shah Mastor said that several events are being organised for the public.

"It will be a good opportunity for Malaysians, especially the younger generation, to witness this extremely rare astronomical event.

"Barring cloudy skies, the people will see a slightly larger and brighter moon, about 14 per cent larger and 30 per cent brighter, on that night," he said.

On the term "blue moon", Mohd Zamri said the moon will not look blue, but it refers to the second full moon in a month.

"The moon will look yellowish white, but will gradually appear reddish during the full lunar eclipse, giving it the term blood moon," he said.

National Space Agency director-general Dr Nordin Ahmad said there is viewing event at the National Observatory in Langkawi as well.

In Penang, the public can watch the total lunar eclipse at the promenade of Karpal Singh Drive (next to the four pillars) in Sungai Pinang from 7pm until midnight.

In Sabah, a viewing event will be held at the city's 30-storey Yayasan Sabah tower today where stargazers can witness the eclipse that is expected to last five hours and 17 minutes.