Eclipses: Treat for your eyes

Daniel Lim

Eclipses are natural phenomena that are impressive to observe first hand as it cannot be conveyed properly using photos or videos.

They are sources of inspiration to the people who observe them as the earth, moon and sun move in a celestial dance creating awe-inspiring wonders.

With the lunar eclipse that occurred on June 6, members of the public gathered to watch the wondrous moment in the comfort of their own homes. Lunar eclipses occur when the moon, sun, and the earth are very closely aligned.

The last lunar eclipse took place in 2018. It was when two partial blood moons were observed.

It was unique because when the moon orbits behind the earth with the sun, the moon turns orange-reddish.

While the lunar eclipse observed this time is a normal partial eclipse, it is still an astronomical phenomena that requires a certain dedication to observe in regards to time. As one can be lucky to have it occur just as the moon rise, or most of the time, takes place during dusk or when the moon set.

This particular partial lunar eclipse was the latter, but it didn’t stop a number of people from viewing the celestial movement.

These viewings were conducted online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, following the Ministry of Health advice.

One such gathering was a live feed led by the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam (PABD).

The sense of waiting in anticipation was a welcome sight as many expressed eagerness to view the eclipse. However, a light drizzled occurred before the full effect of the eclipse could take place. Despite that, the eclipse is a reminder that the power of the universe has an effect on the planet such as the change in tide.

Although not much was gained in terms of actually viewing the eclipse; it was still a worthwhile experience. As the saying goes, ‘it is not about the destination, but the journey’. I have a much greater understanding and appreciation of such events and look forward to the next lunar as well as solar eclipses.

I am looking forward to the ones that were highlighted by the PABD during their live feed, which includes the partial solar eclipse on June 21.

Another lunar eclipse – the penumbral – is expected on November 30. Hopefully, both will be easier to view, weather permitting.

Both the partial solar and lunar eclipses will take place at their fullest in the afternoon at around 4:22pm and at night at around 6:10pm. The latter will have its maximum eclipse occur sometime before that and will not be directly visible from the nation.