Things You Can See In The Sky
Here’s a riddle: Where bombs are dropped from, where our flag’s flown during National Day, where we find our solace when all hell breaks loose. Have you guessed it?
Yes, I’m talking about our beautiful Singaporean sky. Sure, it’s infamous for it’s lack of visible stars and unreasonably hot sun. But hey, there are actually many interesting sightings that make our sky much more cool than we may think it is.
Watch us prove you wrong with these 8 phenomena we found in our very own sky:
1. Iridescent Cloud
Just a few days ago, it was thought that we were graced by the presence of the extremely rare “fire rainbow”. However, this phenomenon was recently revealed to be an iridescent cloud.
According to the Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS), the bright colours observed were due to diffracted sunlight around cloud water droplets. Even though it isn’t as unique as a “fire rainbow”, such clouds can be considered a rare sight in Singapore. MSS representative Winston Chow also noted that Singapore’s geographic proximity to the equator meant there is only a very short-lived window to achieve the conditions needed for an iridescent cloud in Singapore.
If you were lucky enough to experience this gem, you must be feeling pretty special.
2. Double Rainbow
Just this year, we were also treated to a double rainbow.
Remember Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s fascination with the previous double rainbow on Facebook last year?
This time, the rainbow graced us with its presence again on the third day of Chinese New Year, over the Central Business District. Guess the heavy showers at the start of the CNY celebrations weren’t so sad after all.
3. Milky Way
Believe it or not, it’s actually possible to witness the Milky Way in Singapore with the naked eye.
Thanks to homegrown photographer Justin Ng, we’re now aware of its existence despite all the light pollution that seems to prevent such finds.
In fact, all it takes is to find the perfect dark spot (that may not be entirely legal to enter) and a lot of patience.
4. Orange Glow
This sighting caused the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) to receive four calls reporting a fire, causing them to dispatch fire engines to four locations — Marine Crescent, Sentul Crescent, Yishun Avenue 9 and Yishun Ave 11.
However, no fires were found at any of these locations.
The only possible explanation given was flaring, but one can never be entirely sure.
Here’s a video of the phenomenon:
5. Comet Lovejoy
In January 2015, the Comet Lovejoy made its brightest appearance in our sky. Stargazing Singapore called for a gathering to bask in its the beauty, as a gift for the new year.
What makes the comet special is its faint green glow that is slightly visible to the naked eye.
6. Orion’s Belt
Have you ever looked up and noticed 3 stars perfectly aligned in the night sky?
These stars are actually collectively named Orion’s Belt, which part of a bigger constellation called Orion Nebula.
Specifically, the names of the stars are Altinak, Alnilam and Mintaka. In fact, many avid astronomers in Singapore have noticed its appearance, along with many other constellations.
7. 5 Planets visible together
From January to February last year, 5 planets were made visible to the human eye for the first time since 2005.
Such a sighting in Singapore isn’t common, since planets tend to appear at different times during the night and rarely at the exact same time.
A supermoon is when a full moon is closest to the earth.
On Nov 14, 2016, the most impressive supermoon of the year appeared in Singapore and was literally so bright that it even prompted Nasa to announce that it will be the biggest moon seen from Earth in 70 years.
As is evident from the list, 2016 brought many cool sightings that were previously uncommon in Singapore.
2017 already brought the fire rainbow and a rare triple treat of a lunar eclipse, snow moon and comet. So let’s cross our fingers and hope that 2017 will bring many more of such breathtaking phenomena for our eyes to enjoy!