ON this night of extra special supermoon and also the traditional Loy Krathong festival Thais across the nation continue to mourn the passing away of beloved His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej on October 13.
Chiang Mai folk and tourists set the tone for this festival cloaked in mourning last night when its Yee Peng festival which is celebrated alongside Loy Krathong and in which illuminated lanterns are displayed and launched into the night sky got underway under the title “Traditional Chiang Mai Yee Peng festival in memory of His Majesty the late King’s great kindness,” Thai News Agency said.
This was well-received by lots of both Thai and foreign tourists with the foreigners joining in lighting small lamps arranged to spell out ‘WE ♥ KING’ in remembrance of His Majesty the late King’s deep kindness.
In Samut Songkram, officials are rushing to make 200,000 banana leaf floats by tonight to distribute to residents and tourists to float in Mae Klong River.
Meanwhile in Buriram, Buriram Pittayakhom School has set up a telescope for students and the public to view what promises to be a magnificent supermoon tonight, Thai News Agency added.
While the moon is a familiar sight in our sky, brightening dark nights and reminding us of space exploration, past and present, tonight’s will be especially “super” because it’s the closest full moon to Earth since 1948. We won’t see another supermoon like this until 2034, Nasa said.
The moon’s orbit around Earth is slightly elliptical so sometimes it is closer and sometimes it’s farther away. When the moon is full as it makes its closest pass to Earth it is known as a supermoon.
At perigree — the point at which the moon is closest to Earth — the moon can be as much as 14 percent closer to Earth than at apogee, when the moon is farthest from our planet. The full moon appears that much larger in diameter and because it is larger shines 30 percent more moonlight onto the Earth.
Top: A ‘WE ♥ KING’ sign spelled out with small lamps in Chiang Mai last night. Photo: Thai News Agency
Inset: A photo of a less super supermoon, or perigree moon, on the night of July 12, 2014. Photo: Carl (CC-BY-2.0)