Davao folk fail to see super blue blood moon

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 01 February) – Thick clouds over Davao City frustrated a throng of sky watchers and moon chasers who waited for hours to witness the rare super blue blood moon on Wednesday night.

Davao Stargazers – (from left) Alyzza Junett Cabuenas, Carl John Gemarino, and Lori Bonzo. MindaNews photo by ANTONIO L. COLINA IV

Carl John Gemarino, a civil engineering student at University of Mindanao who co-founded Davao Stargazers, told MindaNews that his group was surprised when people started showing up at the observation station they mounted at the Abreeza Mall to see the tri-phenomenon lunar event.

“Our goal is to let the people experience this rare event,” he said.

The three-member Davao Stargazers had offered a free telescope viewing, which attracted a number of mall-goers.

Gemarino said they did not expect a big crowd would turn up in their moon-watching event since they only promoted it on social media.

But people only took a short glimpse of an obscured silhouette of the full moon due to cloudy skies.

“It’s the weather,” said Davao Stargazer co-founder Lori Bonzo, a teacher at the Green Meadow Christian Academy of Davao.

Alyzza Junett Cabuenas, another co-founder and an enthusiast of celestial bodies, said she bought a brand new telescope for this event.

Fate Kate Peña, an employee of the Bureau of Internal Revenue Davao, went straight to Abreeza from her work along with her officemate and mother to watch.

She said they waited starting at 8 pm. The crowd went home past 10 p.m.

Netizens in other parts of Mindanao also lamented not having seen the super blue blood moon due to thick clouds. But people in the Visayas and Luzon, where the night sky was clear, got to enjoy the rare lunar spectacle.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) said “the January 31 full moon is special for three reasons: it’s the third in a series of ‘supermoons,’ when the Moon is closer to Earth in its orbit — known as perigee — and about 14 percent brighter than usual.”

The NASA said it’s also a “blue moon” because it’s the second full moon of the month after its first on January 2.

“The super blue moon will pass through Earth’s shadow to give viewers in the right location a total lunar eclipse. While the Moon is in the Earth’s shadow it will take on a reddish tint, known as a ‘blood moon’,” the US space agency explained.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said the full moon was visible from western South America, North America, Asia, Australia, the Middle East, eastern Africa, eastern Europe, the Pacific Ocean, and the Indian Ocean.

It said the full moon was forecast to begin at 6:49p.m. in the Philippines and to end at 12:09 a.m. on February 1. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)