"If you fill your heart with regrets of yesterday and the worries of tomorrow,
You have no today to be thankful for." ~Unknown
Wednesday, 16 April 2014
Blood Moon April 15th, 2014
Image from Google Images
Did you see the "Blood Moon" in the wee early morning hours yesterday? I missed it.
I fell asleep soundly after a hard day's work. I should have gone to bed extra early and set my alarm to wake me back up. To be honest one of my friend's attempted to reach me by phone, but I did not hear that either......anyway, next time.
During this first total lunar eclipse for 2014, the moon took on an eerie blood-red hue as the earth's shadow fell on its face.
The entire event lasted about three and a half hours.
I awoke as usual around 4.30am and saw the moon as it finally emerged from its eclipse.
Lunar eclipses occur
when the moon is full and passes through part or all of the Earth's
shadow. Total lunar eclipses happen when the moon is totally enveloped
by Earth's shadow, darkening the face of the moon.
It's called a Blood Moon because during an eclipse, the moon may turn a red/coppery colour as it reflects all the sunrises and sunsets happening around the world. While the moon is in shadow, some light from the sun shines
through Earth's atmosphere. Red light (unlike other colors that are
blocked and scattered) is better able to penetrate the atmosphere, which
creates this "bloody" effect. “The exact color that the moon appears depends on the amount of dust
and clouds in the atmosphere,” according to NASA scientists. “If there
are extra particles in the atmosphere, from say a recent volcanic
eruption, the moon will appear a darker shade of red.”
This Blood Moon lunar eclipse was the first of four consecutive total lunar eclipses known as a "tetrad" that will appear between April 2014 and September 2015.
Also in the pre-dawn sky was another celestial object, Mars which was making its closest approach to Earth since 2008, coming within 57.4 million miles (92.4 million km) of our planet.
Thus the Red Planet and the Blood Moon were both visible in this rare event.....never again will we be able to experience this phenomenon in our lives.
I actually viewed Mars in the sky last night with my naked eye, since it's at its brightest in six years.
The sun however, not wanting to be outdone will also join the party later this month, from April 28 to April 29, it will turn into a "ring of fire" during an annular eclipse. However, this celestial sight may only be for the viewing pleasure of penguins, since it will only be visible over an
uninhabited part of Antarctica.
next total lunar eclipse of 2014 will occur on Oct. 8, followed by
another on April 8, 2015 and the last total lunar eclipse of the current
tetrad on Sept. 28, 2015.
According to NASA, the next time skywatchers will be treated to four consecutive
total lunar eclipses will be in the years 2032 to 2033.
There are many rumours circulating online suggesting that this lunar eclipse tetrad is associated with biblical prophesies of the apocalypse. In particular this April 2014/2015 tetrad eclipse with its four consecutive blood-red moons, each separated by a period of six months which has been attributed to a sign of the coming of the Apocalpse. In fact eclipse tetrads are not all that rare. For the 21st century there are nine sets of tetrads in the current pattern of lunar eclipses....so no link to the world about to end.
When October rolls around later this year, I will be ready this time.
I have my trusted telescope all ready and waiting.
Harry Bayley Observatory
I may even visit the Harry Bayley Observatory to get an even closer view next time....we shall see.