KUALA LUMPUR : Although the Movement Control Order (MCO) is in effect, Malaysians, especially astronomy enthusiasts will not miss out on viewing a rare natural phenomenon known as the Super Flower Blood Moon lunar eclipse that appears tonight (May 26).
Only this time, the public can watch it live on the National Planetarium’s Facebook and Youtube channels as the telescope facilities at the Planetarium here is closed due to the MCO.
National Planetarium Planet Observation Unit senior principal assistant director, Mohd Zamri Shah Mastor said the last time the lunar eclipse occurred like this was around 18 years ago, in 2003.
He said the lunar eclipse known as ‘Super Flower Blood Moon’ is actually three phenomena happening simultaneously where the Super Moon is because the moon looks slightly bigger as it is closest to the earth, which is around seven per cent bigger than other full moons.
He said the second phenomena Flower Moon, meanwhile happens during summer and Blood Moon is named after the reddish colour of the moon, which makes it seem as if it is bleeding.
“The full moon phenomenon causes the moon to look reddish for around 15 minutes during the lunar eclipse face…’Blood Moon’ will only occur during 7.11 pm to 7.26 pm.
“However the Super Moon and Flower Moon can be seen throughout the night till dawn,” he said during the live telecast.
Meanwhile, directly viewing of the lunar eclipse to witness the formation of the phenomenon can be done between 4.47 pm till 9.49 pm at Tanjung Labian, Lahad Datu, Sabah and also at the National Planetarium observation station.
Residents in Sabah and Sarawak can witness the phenomenon as it reaches the partial eclipse phase around 7 pm while for most areas in the peninsula, especially Kuala Lumpur, it can only be seen during the eclipse phase which is the maximum at 7.15 pm.
Due to heavy rain and thick clouds in Kuala Lumpur, the blood moon phenomenon that ended 7.26 pm could not be seen in the skies above the capital.
The eclipse occurs several hours after the moon is at its perigee, when the sun, earth and moon are all lined up in a row and the entire moon crosses the umbra.
Meanwhile, the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Affairs Department said on its website that an eclipse prayer and sermon will be conducted following the standard operating procedure (SOP) at all mosques and suraus in Kuala Lumpur after Maghrib prayers.