'Blood moon' will be a sight to behold during total lunar eclipse
On Tuesday, April 15, there will be a total lunar eclipse that will turn the moon a coppery red, NASA says. It's called a blood moon, and it's one of four total eclipses that will take place in North America within the next year and a half. Source: CNN
A total lunar eclipse is seen in Karachi, Pakistan, on December 10, 2011. It was the last full lunar eclipse. Source: CNN
The December 2011 eclipse is seen near Moab, Utah. The moon takes on a reddish color as it passes through the Earth's shadow, which is the color of a desert sunset. Source: CNN
Prophecy loves signs from the heavens, and they will deliver Tuesday with a
What will happen could sound sort
of like this:
The moon will turn to blood
as it aligns with Earth and sun Then do so thrice more ere a year and a half is done, 'Tis not the herald of the apocalypses Just the first of four total lunar eclipses.
In other words, get ready for an
unusually beautiful moon to grace the night skies next week. There will be a
total lunar eclipse Tuesday that will turn the moon a burnt reddish orange,
It's called a blood moon, and
this one is just the first in a series of four consecutive total eclipses.
Within a year and a half, North
America will be able to see a blood moon a total of four
moon takes on this color during the eclipse as it passes through the Earth's
shadow, which is the color of a desert sunset.
The four blood moons will occur
in roughly six-month intervals on the following dates: April 15, 2014; October
8, 2014; April 4, 2015, and September 28, 2015.
With that frequency, one might be
misled into thinking that they are commonplace.
What's up with the 'blood moon'
There are about two lunar
eclipses per year, NASA says. Some of them -- penumbral eclipses -- are so
subtle, they are vaguely visible and go greatly unnoticed.
Other eclipses just cast a
partial shadow on the moon but lend it none of that brilliant sunset hue.
Lunar eclipses -- penumbral,
partial or umbral -- occur in random order, NASA says. Getting four umbral
eclipses in a row is like drawing a rare lunar poker hand of four of a kind.
Just like the poker players,
astronomers have a name for that lucky draw. It's called a tetrad, NASA says.
"The most unique thing about
the 2014-2015 tetrad is that all of them are visible for all or parts of the
USA," longtime NASA eclipse expert Fred Espenak said in a prepared
In the 21st century, there will
be many tetrads, but look back a few centuries, and you'll find the opposite
phenomenon, Espenak said.
Before the dawn of the 20th
century, there was a 300-year period when there were none, he said. Zero.
That would mean that neither Sir
Isaac Newton, Mozart, Queen Anne, George Washington, Napoleon, Abraham Lincoln
nor their contemporaries ever had a chance to see one.
So, we're in luck. To take
advantage of it, you'll have to stay up late from Monday night into Tuesday.
People in North and South America
will be able to see the entire eclipse, while sky watchers in the western
Pacific can catch only the last half. The moon will be setting in most of
Europe and Africa during the eclipse, so residents there probably won't see
The heavenly curtain rises on
Tuesday's lunar review around 2 a.m. ET, when the moon starts to slide into
It should turn into a blood moon
-- a coppery red -- about an hour later and stay that way for over an hour,
Tuesday's blood moon comes right
on time for the Jewish festival of Passover, which commemorates the ancient
Israelites' exodus from slavery in Egypt. According to the Bible, God cast 10
plagues upon the Egyptians, the final plague being the death of the firstborn.
The Israelites painted lamb's blood on their doorways so that this plague would
pass over their homes.
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