Tuesday Sunday September 27 will be a rare luner event known as a blood moon. Early Sunday morning, starting about 2 am people in both North and South America have the opportunity to observe a full lunar eclipse that will cause the moon to turn a dusty, coppery red color according to NASA.
The oddly colored lunar surface, known as a “blood moon”, will also be visible for those in the western Pacific for the last half of the eclipse. This event will repeat itself three more times over the next 18 months giving us what is known as a tetrad.
Having this many full lunar eclipses is very rare. There was a 300 year period just before the 20th century when “blood moons” did not occur. Which means people who lived during Sir Isaac Newton’s time all the way up to Abraham Lincoln did not have an opportunity to view one. Another rarity in this tetrad is that all will can be seen by the citizens of North America.
To make things more interesting this “blood moon” coincides with the Jewish holiday of Passover, which is a celebration of the passing over of the death angel by those Jews who had painted their door posts with lambs blood.
The red color should commence about an hour after the earth starts to hide the moon and should stay that color for about an hour after that. The term “blood moon” was popularized in a book by John Hagee and Mark Blitz. These two Christian pastors say the tetrad of lunar eclipses is a sign of the end times according to Joel 2:31 (Common English Bible): The sun will be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood before the great and dreadful day of the LORD comes.
Many museums and observatories are planning special events for the eclipse. The United States National Park Service is sponsoring events at Great Basin National Park and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The University of Hawaii’s Institute for Astronomy will hold events at two locations on the islands. The Griffith Observatory will stream the eclipse live on the Internet.
NASA will host two live question and answer sessions online. The first will happen roughly 12 hours before the eclipse via Reddit’s Ask Me Anything. The second will be a web chat hosted on their site just before the eclipse begins. NASA will also stream the eclipse live on their website.
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