Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Rise of the SuperMoon

This weekend we will see the moon at its closest point to Earth for 2012. This perigee-full moon is also considered a ‘SuperMoon’, a term coined by astrologer Richard Nolle. Whilst this is not the one of the extreme supermoons in the 21st century, it is still one of the many supermoons occurrences. By definition, a SuperMoon is a perigee-syzygy, a new or full moon (syzygy) which occurs when the Moon is at 90% or greater of its mean closest approach to Earth (perigee). An extreme SuperMoon is when the moon is at 100% or greater than 100% of its mean perigee.
The rising moon on the evening of 4th of May 2012.

The moon reaches its closest distance to Earth (perigee) at about 03.34 AM GMT on May 6 and two minutes later, syzygy occurs at 3.36AM GMT. At perigee, the moon will only be 356953 km from Earth, the closest for this year. Unfortunately for us in Malaysia, the full perigee-syzygy will occur during daylight (11.36 AM on Sunday 6 May). However, the moon would already look somewhat bigger a day before and after the perigee syzygy, and this is especially noticeable when the moon is close to the horizon at moonrise and moonset.

Happy Wesak 2012

In conjunction with Wesak day today, I went to the Maha Vihara at Brickfields yesterday evening to light some lamps. The place is all set for Wesak today. There were flags and banners all along Jalan Berhala leading to the temple. The main shrine hall is also all spic-and-span. Some of the monks were putting on a huge flower garland, offered by a devotee.
Wesak eve at Maha Vihara Brickfields KL 2012
Flags and banners at the Maha Vihara, Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur.
Main Hall Maha Vihara Brickfields
Monks getting busy with putting on a huge garland on the image of Buddha in the main shrine hall.
Buddha at the Maha Vihara Brickfields
A bit to the left...a bit more...
Flags for Wesak Day 2012 at Buddhist Maha Vihara Brickfields
More flags strung to the main shrine hall.

A stage was set for the Malaysian PM who is supposedly there today. There was a trickle of devotees at the vihara yesterday, but most of the crowd were made up of volunteers getting things set up for events that start in the evening and goes on until tomorrow.
Stalls outside the Maha Vihara Brickfields KL 2012
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Wesak Day eve 2012 at Maha Vihara Brickfields KL
Flowers for sale from stalls set along Jalan Berhala.
Hmm, I wonder if I can get a ride in this bike...Monks walking towards the Maha Vihara.

There were many stalls selling flowers and small arrangements to be used as offerings. Besides those stalls, there were a few food and drink stalls already up and operating, plus a few more that was being set up in the evening. Happy Wesak and may all be well and happy!

Click here to see pictures of Wesak Day at Brickfields and the procession through KL at night.