Since the Blood Moon likely won’t herald the End of Days — and you couldn’t stop it anyway if it did — there’s nothing more to do than to enjoy the lunar spectacle arriving this coming Sunday.
However, it’s no wonder that some believe the Blood Moon signals the apocalypse, as it’s a singularly rare event and promises to be spectacular for those of us lucky enough to see it. The timing poses a problem for some, however — it sneaks up a bit too close to Jewish holy holidays, sparking fears and prophecies galore.
Nonetheless, the coming Blood Moon is fascinating not because of the terror associated with it, but the simple act of nature that makes the rare celestial event possible, Space.com explained.
Firstly, this is a standard lunar eclipse, meaning the Earth will pass between the sun and the moon. Coincidentally, this eclipse will also be a supermoon, because it will be at perigee — the closest it can get to the Earth — at the same time, or only 221,753 miles away. This happened in 1982 and will happen again in 2033.
So, why is it being called a Blood Moon? This has a simple — not apocalyptic — explanation, as well, Space.com continued: our planet’s shadow, which will be cast on the moon’s surface, is red because when sunlight passes through its atmosphere, the other colors in the spectrum are removed.
The Blood Moon is the last lunar eclipse in a tetrad. Between April, 2014, and today, we’ve seen one in October, 2014, April again, and this coming Sunday. And it’s also the Harvest Moon, or the full moon occurring closest to the Autumnal Equinox, CBS News noted.
The equinox is important because during one each in fall and spring, the Earth isn’t titled away or towards the sun; instead, both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres enjoy the same amount of sunshine, National Geographic added. On the two days of the equinox, both day and night last 12 hours.
But there are some other remarkable things going on in the night sky this fall, as well. On Monday, Venus, the second planet from the sun, was at its brightest, shining 17 times stronger than Jupiter. In the low western sky, Mars will soon meet Regulus, which is the brightest star in constellation Leo. Venus will lie above the couple, and Jupiter below.
And then, of course, the Blood Moon, which will turn orange-red late on the night of Sept. 27 and into the next day. Billions of people should be able to see it. In America, the 72-minute spectacle will start about 9:07 p.m. EDT and enter totality about 10:11 p.m. EDT.
A billion people in the Western Hemisphere, 1.5 billion in Europe and Africa, and 500 million in western Asia can watch the Blood Moon at once. But if you’re in the western U.S. or Canada, the first stage of the eclipse will have already begun by moonrise. Don’t worry, these westerners can still catch it in the low eastern sky as twilight fades.
And by Monday morning, the world will still be here and everyone, sadly, will still have to go back to work.
[Photo Courtesy David McNew / Getty Images]