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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Star trails in Singapore

Imagine, lying down on your back, on a grass meadow patch, looking up into the night sky.
If you Stare long enough, maybe you will see the stars rotating round and round and round...

Ok, we know it is difficult to find a comfortable grass patch
(ie soft, not spiky and itchy, not wet, and no insects) in Singapore.

But seriously, when was the last time you spotted a starry night in Singapore?
Maybe, just maybe, we might be able to spot stars at Pulau Semakau.

(Above map from http://coralreef.nus.edu.sg/images/singmap.jpg)

Pulau Where?
Pulau Semakau is an island in southern Singapore, and it used to be a landfill for mainland Singapore's rubbish. NEA (National Environment Agency) has now transformed it into an eco-fertile island.

Visitors can enjoy unspoilt sceneries, lalangs, and Daddy recently came to know this might be
the only spot in Singapore to view stars.

In the words of Tasos, Daddy quote "Singapore, being such a small island, is badly polluted by lights. So, we have to move to a dark spot away from the city light for star-gazing. Offshore islands are a good candidate."

Now, who is Tasos? Tasos stand for "The Astronomical Society of Singapore".
They are Singapore's stars gazers, read more about them here. They are the chaps who provided the telescopes for us to view the recent lunar Eclipse.

Tasos organise trips to Pulau Semakau to view stars and constellations.
Read about their StarGazing trips here.

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More about Island itinerary
- $40 for non members, do not expect 5 star hotel or BBQ at Pulau Semakau.
Think camping, only basic amenities like toilet and shower is available.

- Trip normally last from Sat 1600 to Sun 0800

- Tasos members will setup Telescopes for visitors, and guides will be available to explain the Milky Way :p

- No one mention anything about overseas mosquitos, use your initiative

- Semakau overnight trip might not be suitable for younger kids, as Stars/Planets do not excite everybody :)

More information are available at Tasos webage -->

Thank you to Albert Ho for providing SengkangBabies with additional information. You might be interested to know that every Friday from 1945 to 2200, Science Centre Observatory is open to the public for star gazing activities. IT is Free :)

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Video : What is a Star Trail? Look at this superb time-lapse video ! (disclaimer Daddy is not saying it is easy or possible to capture star trails in Pulau Semakau, youtube for illustration only)

You can gather more information about Pulau Semakau below. Do take note that you can only visit Semakau together with other organisations mention in wiki link below :
- http://app2.nea.gov.sg/semakaulandfill.aspx
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulau_Semakau

Pulau Semakau star-gazing will offer you some non-traditional itinerary. Interested in more non-conventional fun for your family ?
- Visit a Lighthouse
- Look out for the next Lunar Eclipse
- Visit MRT Deport

credits.. above "stars" photos taken from Tasos website.



  1. Set foot on Semakau 3 years ago. Beautiful island and far from urbanisation. Love the serenity, flora and fauna:) Was thinking it would be interesting if I could bring my kids there too.

  2. Another island beside Sentosa and Ubin or Tekong keke :)


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