Friday, 22 February 2008

Lunar eclipse

I've been reading so much about the total lunar eclipse that we missed in this part of the world yesterday morning. As usual, not everyone will get the chance to experience a lunar eclipse or a solar eclipse and Malaysia was way, way out of the path of the eclipse in this case. And it seems that another total lunar eclipse will not happen any time soon until on 21 Dec 2010. That's a long time to wait.

Anyway, this composite picture shows the moon entering and emerging from the earth's shadow during the eclipse. The lucky devils of Titusville, Florida:

Two days ago, a 7.6-magnitude earthquake struck Simeulue island at about 4.08pm (Malaysian time) off the western coast of Sumatra. Although it was more than 500 miles away from Penang, several areas here reported feeling it. "I feel the earth move under my feet" seemed to be the common refrain of many people I knew, including Jeffrey who texted me minutes after experiencing it at his office in the Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone.

No, I told him, I certainly didn't feel it. Neither did any of my colleagues and we were all housed in the lower ground floor offices at the Equatorial Hotel. The hotel must be built on very solid ground.

Anyway, I've written about this so many times in the past but I've to mention this again: the association between an eclipse and a big earthquake. The alignment of the sun, moon and earth seems to put extra pressure on the tectonic plates around the world. Was it more than a coincidence that the last earthquake in Simeulue occurred just hours before this lunar eclipse? It's possible, right?

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