Thursday, 4 January 2018

HEAVEN AND EARTH: Watching the Supermoon from Borneo

picture taken at night

this one taken at dawn

In 2017 right until today, many people in Borneo are whipped with excitements because of the moon. Why not? The reason is because of the supermoon (scientifically known as perigee syzygy). According to Wikipedia, Supermoon is defined as a full moon or a new moon that approximately coincides with the closest distance that the Moon reaches the Earth in its elliptic orbit, resulting in a larger-than-usual apparent size of the lunar disk as seen from the earth.

Many took snapshots of the moon as it appeared full; and many of those pictures were beautiful. I took one near my home (above). According to Malay proverb bulan (moon) is associated to cantik (beautiful); Cantik Macam Bulan (as beautiful as the moon). 

The heaven will be offering us a number of interesting phenomenons this January of 2018. Among them are:
January 2, 2018                 First full moon of the year (also supermoon)
January 3 & 4, 2018          Quadrantids Meteor showers
January 31, 2018               Full moon and a super blue moon (also a lunar eclipse)

Blue moon is the second full moon in the same month. Because blue moon is an unusual phenomenon that colloquially, it is also used to refer to a rare event. The best places to see these things are on high places with clear weather and the least amount of light pollution. One such place is at Bukit Bongol, Kampong Pirasan at Kota Belud.  


Monday, 1 January 2018


At 6am
At 6.15am

At 6.30am

These pictures taken are sequences of daybreak seen from the Likas Sports Complex Lake, Jesselton (Kota Kinabalu), North Borneo (Sabah). This lake is about 5 minutes drive from the city center. Indeed it is an awesome sight to watch the sun rise in the early morning to break the dawn on the first day of 2018. I did the same on January 1, 2017. Then I made myself a vow; to exercise at least three times a week at this same place. Unfortunately, I didn’t fulfill my vow. I am making the same vow this year; and this time I hope I succeed. 

This is an excuse; but I might be right. Actually 2017 was a rainy year. Most of the weeks and the months are really wet thus I was unable to go outside and exercise. I think December was one of the wettest months for the year 2017. The rain didn’t spare even Christmas and New Year eve.

I thought the morning of January 1, 2018 will also be wet but it turned out to be marvelous. The sky was clear and the weather fine. So I managed to exercise this morning as I did back in 2017. It was still dark when I made my first round of walking exercise and the sun was still hidden behind the Crocker Ranch. As I progressed, I saw the whole horizon became brighter as the sun rose from the east. 

Seeing the dawn break on the first day of New Year is indeed a rare opportunity. You can only do it once a year. Then we have to wait for another 365 days before we can repeat this action; if you miss; another 365 days of waiting! 

So now we are in 2018! As I mentioned before, 2017 was a very wet season for North Borneo. I think God had His reasons for giving us so much rain. Orientals believed that water are associated with prosperity so abundant rains must be a blessing. But metaphorically, rains are associated with gloom while sunshine brightness in life! So hopefully, the year 2018 will indeed be shiny. By the way, according to Chinese believes, the number 18 means “continuous prosperity” and thus I hope this year it is.