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Second ‘Blood Moon’, Total Lunar Eclipse 2014

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Blood Moon 2014

We were able to witness the Blood Moon last night, October 8, 2014. We were all in awe of the moon’s fiery red glow, including my 4-year old son who’s into astronomy lately. I realized that I know so little about eclipses so I read a couple of articles after the event.

Last April 15, 2014 was the first of four consecutive total eclipses in a series. A series of eclipses is called a tetrad. We didn’t get the chance to see it from our place but this time (or last night), my self-professed astronomy geek brother invited us to watch the phenomenon from the roof deck. He took a photo of the second blood moon using an old model DSLR camera. I couldn’t take a decent shot with my iPhone so I’m sharing his photos instead.

Blood Moon 2014
 

I learned from Wikipedia that the red color of the moon ‘is caused by Rayleigh scattering of sunlight through the Earth’s atmosphere, the same effect that causes sunsets to appear red’. My son couldn’t help but compare the moon to planet Mars, which is often called the “Red Planet”. 

My brother also captured this stunning time lapse imagery of the moon. I used to think that his photography skills were a joke, but wow, you nailed it here bro. Ü

Blood Moon Total Lunar Eclipse 2014
Two more eclipses (which is part of the tetrad) will take place next year, April 4 and September 28. While we all wait for April 2015, here are a few blood moon myths and beliefs:

  • According to ‘The Blood Moon Prophecy’, an idea by Christian pastors John Hagee and Mark Biltz, an ongoing tetrad (a series of four consecutive total lunar eclipses, with six full moons in between, and no intervening partial lunar eclipses) is a sign of the end times (last days or the Second Coming of Christ, as mentioned in the Bible). (Credit: Wikipedia.org)
  • In Chinese mythology, a lunar eclipse is seen as a bad omen, a coming of disease and famine. It is believed to be occuring because of a dragon, a masculine solar energy that consumes the moon, so the Chinese people traditionally make loud noises by smashing pots and banging mirrors. (Credit: guardianlv.com)
  • In Islam, the moon is considered to be one of the two signs of Allah (sun and moon). An eclipse of either, is taken as a reminder of the “Day of Judgement”.  The Muslims then should dedicate a prayer to Allah. (Credit: guardianlv.com)
  • The ancient Egyptians thought that the moon was being swallowed by a sow for a short time during eclipses. (Credit: Wikipedia.org)



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