Rainbows and Eclipses: Drama In The Sky


Inset: The moon nearly eclipsed as seen by Mr. Lloyd Tronco.

Who has seen the Lunar Eclipse yesterday? The skies in this side of the world presented a drama unfolding as the long awaited Total Lunar Eclipse happened. I was finishing up on articles in my blog when someone from my SSC barkada, a resident doctor at a hospital in Bacólod sent me a message that a Total Lunar Eclipse will be happening tonight. Everyone is excited since the next occurrence of another Total Lunar Eclipse would be a long way to 2014 and by then, we are not even sure if we will see it clear in the Philippines. After thanking him for the reminder, I immediately grabbed my camera and went outside. I was not expecting to see much since it was a rainy day in Metropolitan Manila and some of my Negrénse kasimanwas here, especially those in Quezon City, cannot have a glance at the moon. However, when I went out, by some sort of miracle, the clouds cleared up as if trying to let me see the spectacle. I tried taking some snapshots but the passing rainclouds and the apparent limitations of my camera stopped me short of having a good one.

Inset: Stitched photos of the lunar eclipse sequence by Dr. Dominic Alojado, MD.

This is my first time seeing a Total Lunar Eclipse unfolding and my mind immediately scanned all the things I learned in science about lunar eclipses. The phenomenon of a Total Lunar Eclipse happens when the Sun, Moon and Earth are directly aligned together with the Earth blocking the light from the Sun. The whole sequence from the first prenumbral to the last prenumbral or the end of the lunar eclipse lasted for approximately four hours from 8:30pm to 12:30am, too bad for kids who get easily bored. While Manila was fully cloudy to partially cloudy, my kasimanwas in Bacólod and Tokyo had the clearest view of the night sky. They were able to give a blow by blow updates on the moon’s eclipse sizes from where they are.

Inset: The moon is blood red as captured by Dr. Dominic Alojado, MD.

The best look of the moon does not lie on the full eclipse itself but that leading to the second umbra where the moon is fully blood red. Sounds familiar? The blood red moon has mythical connotations to it especially with vampires, just as a bright full moon has connotations with another mythical creatures, werewolves. Blood red moon has Biblical connotations too by which it appeared in the night sky the day Jesus died on the cross, as if to tell the world that the blood of the Savior was shed. The rare appearance of a blood red moon gave it much significance, may it be mythically or Biblically. Only the most enthusiastic of the astronomic enthusiast or sky photographers was able to capture the blood red moon in its fullness  late last night. Most of the blood red moon shots I saw were from my beloved hometown still where people stayed all night just to capture everything. Indeed, it was a science lesson, only that nature is the one teaching this time.

Inset: A double rainbow captured by Ms. Joan Honoridez over Mandalagan.

Even as this was occurring, Bacólod City has seen a lot of beautiful natural phenomenons lately like the occurrence of double rainbows for the past few weeks. Scientifically, double rainbows are caused by the reflection of the main rainbow via suspended water droplets in the air. The faint second rainbow above the brighter rainbow is called the “supernumerary rainbow”. Rainbows are frequent after the rain but double rainbows are a very rare occurrence but it happened three times since the first week of November up to weeks leading to December. What is coincidence that this rare occurrence happend in a single city for three times? Maybe but somehow, people cannot help but put it as a sort of heavenly message that it will be good times ahead in the City of Smiles. Whatever meaning they put in the phenomenon would not hurt as people would work hard for which they wish and put their total faith in God. Nevertheless, these rare occurrences seen most clearly in my hometown is a wonderful treat for everyone, a marvel of God’s wonderful creation.

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About Mark Mayo - Magallanes

MARK MAYO - MAGALLANES – blogger by passion, cook by hobby, student by life, theater actor by fate, writer by work, and Christian by grace. Part Filipino, Chinese and Spanish by blood, he is proudly 100% Negrénse. His love for his home Island of Negros, heritage and lifestyle has led him to write much about it and full-time, all-time. View all posts by Mark Mayo - Magallanes

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