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Clouds give Phuket observers 10-minute window for ‘blood moon’ lunar eclipse

PHUKET: Hundreds of people who turned out at Saphan Hin to observe the “blood moon” full lunar eclipse last night (Jan 31) had a 10-minute window to observe the phenomenon before the rain-bearing clouds obscured the phenomenon.

By Tanyaluk Sakoot

Thursday 1 February 2018, 12:32PM

Phuket Rajabhat University (PRU) science lecturer Nattapong Songumpai said more than 300 people turned up at the Saphan Hin public park, on the outskirts of Phuket Town, to join junior astronomers from PRU in observing the eclipse.

“They came to watch the Moon, as it would pass directly behind the Earth into its umbra (shadow), causing the sunlight reflecting the moon’s surface to become dark or faded during the transition,” Mr Nattapong explained to The Phuket News this morning.

“But we were able to see the moon for only the first 10 minutes of the eclipse before clouds blocked our view,” he said.

“Then it rained for an hour,” he added.

Although last night was the first time in 150 years the a total lunar eclipse coincided with a “Super Moon” (when the Moon is closest to the Earth) and a “Blood Moon” (when the Moon turns visibly red), astronomy enthusiasts in Asia will have another chance to observe a total lunar eclipse as early as July 27.

 After that, however, enthusiasts will have to wait for the night of Jan 20-21, 2019 to observe a total lunar eclipse visible from Southeast Asia.



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