Whether you're a seasoned moon gazer or just seeking to gape at the beauty of a full moon, you and the little ones are in for a treat with not one but four supermoons to spot in Singapore this year!
The moon, earth’s closest companion, is the one celestial neighbour that everyone worldwide can see in the night sky. This fascination with the moon is seen in many ancient cultures. There is so much folklore about the moon’s magic. Whether you’re a seasoned moon gazer or not, you and the kiddos are in for a treat with supermoon spotting in Singapore this year! Look out for the next supermoon happening in September coinciding with the Mid-Autumn Festival!
What’s a supermoon?
This year, Singapore’s first supermoon sighting happened to be the Buck Moon, but what exactly is “super” about this astronomical phenomenon? To understand this, we’ve got to go back to the classroom and learn the following:
The moon orbits the Earth in an ellipse, an oval that brings it closer to and farther from Earth as it goes around. The farthest point is called the apogee and is about 405,500 kilometres from Earth on average. The closest point is called the perigee at about 363,300 kilometres from Earth. Are you still with us?
A supermoon is a phenomenon that occurs when the full moon appears at the perigee where the moon is closest to Earth, and hence, we see a slightly larger and brighter full moon.
All the deets about the supermoons to look out for in September!
We were treated to 2 Supermoons last month! This month, we can look forward to the Harvest Moon. Here are some facts about these sightings put together by the Science Centre Observatory:
1. What is the astronomical event happening this September?
On 29 September, Singaporeans will have a chance to catch the Harvest Moon, which also happens to be last of the four Supermoons this year.
2. Why is it called the Harvest Moon?
The Harvest Moon was given its name as it is the Full Moon that occurs closest to the Autumn equinox in the Northern Hemisphere that happens in September and marks the start of the fall season. The equinox occurs when the Sun crosses the celestial equator from north to south.
For several evenings during this period, the gibbous moon rises earlier than in other months. A moon is described as Gibbous when the Moon is more than half full, but not quite fully illuminated, when looked at from the Earth’s perspective. This results in abundance of bright moonlight early in the evening, which traditionally provided greater aid to farmers and crews harvesting their summer crops.
3. What time will the Harvest Moon be visible?
The Harvest Moon will begin rising at 7:00 pm on 29 September approximately from the East direction and should be at an appreciable height 9:00 pm onwards in Singapore.
4. Where are the best places to view the Harvest Moon?
Like most full moons, the supermoon will be easily visible anywhere in Singapore if the clear skies offer an unobstructed view. For a better and potentially elevated view of the Harvest Moon with panoramic views of the city skyline, visit open public areas like Marina Barrage, East Coast Park and the Southern Ridges.
5. Can the supermoon be viewed with the naked eye?
Yes! It will be hard to miss these bright Supermoon in the night sky unless it’s a particularly cloudy day. However, it’s worth noting that the moon’s appearance can vary depending on atmospheric conditions and your specific location.
Activities to do with the kiddos on a supermoon night…
Get your kids excited about the supermoon with some fun activities! It’s an opportunity for them to understand a little bit more about the Earth and sleep just a tad later. Here are some ideas to keep them entertained and informed:
1. Make a moon snack
Make moon gazing tasty with this yummy treat from Thingstoshareandremember! It’s simple, and kiddos can get in on the fun. This rice cake snack can be tweaked according to what you have on hand to mimic the moon’s craters and surface.
2. Create some moon craft
As you watch the moon rise in the sky (weather willing), get kiddos to create their very own foil art moon using the following instructions!
3. Read some moon-themed classics
These moon-themed classics are perfect for the occasion
4. Learn some facts about the moon
Teach the kiddos some cool facts about the moon. Check out this article from National Geographic.
5. Indulge in some mooncakes!
6. Check out some Mid-Autumn Festival themed events
This year’s Harvest Moon coincides with the Mid-Autumn Festival – which means double the fun! The festival is honoured on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese Han calendar and Vietnamese calendar (within 15 days of the autumnal equinox), on the night of the full moon. Find out all about it and the cool events you and the kiddos shouldn’t miss!
Did you have a super time gazing at the supermoons of 2023?
Featured Image: Mauricio Mascaro via Pexels