Blood moon cometh – are you prepared?

Are you prepared for the blood moon this April 14th – 15th?  This is the first of four total lunar eclipses, to grace the skies of Earth in the next two years. All four will be fully visible from the United States.

What is a Blood Moon?

A blood moon is simply a total lunar eclipse where the moon turns a beautiful red color, as it passes through the shadow (umbra) cast by the Earth.

Blood Moon
Blood Moon Total Lunar Eclipse 2011 – NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

The blood moon is not a scientific term. Science calls this lunar event a total lunar eclipse. When four total lunar eclipses occur in a row, it is called a tetra.

What is it with Blood Moons and  doom?

Superstitious folk have a field day when there is a blood moon. Now they can have it times four. Yes, the soothsayers have already begun heralding their prophecies of silliness.  Leave it to the religious folk stuck in middle ages to find some fun factor to attach to the total lunar eclipses. The rest of us will marvel and enjoy this natural phenomena.

Blood moon prophecy – End of Days

The end is nigh.– Being a former reborn again christian, I find this overused prophecy, well, overused.  It seems to get recycled whenever there is some significant astral event (I guess its called playing it safe?).

Pray4Zion has linked its significance to the religious lunar calendar.  Aside from making incorrect astro observations†, their webpage also finds the linkage of the “lunar” event to the religious “lunar” calendar as significant historically. They are not alone in marking this significance, also seems to find this alignmnet with jewish holidays remarkable.

Do you know what I don’t find remarkable?  A lunar event that lines up with a religious lunar calendar. The fact that this is part of a regular predictable cycle is often lost on superstitious people. For them, any significant event to fall on, near or between the blood moons will have some connection to the blood moon, even though the lunar eclipse is totally irrelevant.

Three types of lunar eclipses

There are three types of lunar eclipses: penumbral, partial and total. Most people don’t notice the first two as the effect is not very profound.

During this eclipse NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter will be in darkness for several hours and NASA will be powering down the spacecraft to reserve it’s solar battery power.

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Blood moons cometh

So, to serious business: When can you see the total lunar eclipses during 2014 and 2015?

If you are in North America, you are in luck as the four full lunar eclipses will be visible, depending on cloud cover of course.

The dates of four lunar eclipses are

  1. April 14-15, 2014
  2. October 08. 2014
  3. April 04, 2015
  4.  September 28, 2015

[Each of the links above go to the respective NASA Lunar eclipse research pages for each event.]


Australia will only be able to glimpse the first two eclipses in this series. If you are in Australia, first blood moon will be as a rising eclipse only.  If you are down under, you will need to ensure you have a good, clear view of the horizon on the 15th April.

Main viewing dates and times for lunar eclipse 14-15th April

If you can’t get outside to view the lunar eclipse, or if you live in a part of the world that will be unaffected, you can of course count on NASA to broadcast the event live.

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If you are able to view with the naked eye the best time to begin viewing the eclipse is about 1.58am EDT on the 15 April for North America.  Other times for North American’s are available on Earth Sky.

Despite some claims† that this is the last of the tetra eclipses for the next one hundred years, the next series of four eclipses will occur in 2033  – 2034.  Before the next tetra there are multiple tri-lunar eclipses. If the soothsayers don’t get it right this time, they have plenty of time to practice their religious craft between now and then.

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