29 September 2015

The Blood Moon - What does it mean?

We arrived back in Vinca just in the nick of time to catch the rare conjunction of a super moon with a blood moon.  It is known as a super moon because it is at it's closest point (perigree) to the earth in its elliptical orbit, so it appears up to 14% bigger & brighter in the sky.  

It is a blood moon because the earth passes for a few hours between the moon and the sun, creating a total lunar eclipse and the infamous red colour due to the diffraction of sunlight through the earth's atmosphere.

September 28th marked the fourth and final eclipse in a series of four total lunar eclipses called the lunar tetrad.  This particular tetrad had a solar eclipse in the middle and is causing a bit of a stir with some religious folk because each of the five eclipses falls on a Jewish festival.  The last time this happened was in 1948, which was the date of the Palestine war, known in Hebrew as The War of Independence or the War of Liberation.  Others are quoting the bible in their summary of this event, particularly the book of Acts 2:20 in which it says 'The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the great and glorious day of the Lord shall come.' 

So, will this tetrad bring with it another historical event?  Only time will tell.

What we do know for sure is that total eclipses of super moons are very rare. According to NASA, they have occurred only 8 times in the last 2000 years.  I say let us simply be grateful to have witnessed one!  And if like most people you had a job to go to on that cold Monday morning and didn't fancy standing in a damp field waiting for the clouds to clear, you can always watch the film I made instead, The Blood Moon.

Or you can wait till the next one in 2033 :)

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