Supermoon? S'pore stargazers miss out

Stargazers around the world gathered yesterday to catch sight of a supermoon, touted as the closest and largest moon of the year, and astronomy hobbyists from Singapore were no different.

But while people in several countries revelled in the sight of the moon, those in Singapore were met with a wall of cloud.

Gerarddyn Dde Britto was one of them.

The 41-year-old founder of astronomy hobbyist group Stargazing Singapore had organised a gathering at the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

About 30 people turned up and eight telescopes were set up. They waited from about 6.30pm to 10pm, she told My Paper. But the moon did not make its appearance.

The adults were happy enough talking about the moon and its purported beauty, but the children were disappointed.

"They waited because they wanted to see the moon, but they had to leave with their parents because it was getting too late," she said.

Another enthusiast who tried but did not get to see the moon was Alfred Tan, an office administrator, who has a conservatory in an open area atop his terrace house.

"When I saw clouds, I gave up. But I heard that some people managed to catch it between clouds between 4am and 5am, and that it was beautiful," he said.

A supermoon occurs when a new or full moon reaches a point in its orbit that is closest to Earth, also known as a perigee.

Stunning photos were captured around the world of the luminous orb rising over Sydney, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, Madrid and other cities.

Amidst all the excitement, there were also astronomers who gave a cynical critique of the supermoon phenomenon.

They pointed out that the term "supermoon" was in fact coined by a modern astrologer.

Renowned American astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson tweeted: "July's full moon is to August's "Super Moon" what a 16.0-inch pizza is to a 16.1-inch pizza. Just saying."

Meanwhile, a Perseid meteor shower - when one can catch up to 100 shooting stars an hour - will be visible late tonight and tomorrow.

Get MyPaper for more stories.