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This was the first time I had heard of it – a Blood Moon – a rare lunar eclipse that would turn the moon red. A rare event, it is even rarer in that we were witness to a Tetrad – a series of 4 Blood Moons through a 2 year period. To put in perspective, such an event has occurred only twice before in the past 500 years!! Awesome, or what?
I gained this knowledge form my son at the lunch table and was intrigues. Though the part of the world we are in at present ( Chennai in India) was not exactly among the favored sites to watch this phenomenon from, we decided to give it a try and found that Moon Rise was at 5.54pm, at Chennai. We traipsed off to the beach – The Marina Beach – to have a look-see. This was just a few minutes before the moon was to exit the darkest part of the Earth’s shadow at 6.05 pm.
A good place or not , a short while or not, I was amazed at the sight. I have captured a few images of the wondrous sight – grainy pics, obscured by clouds… all the same , my pics!!
Religions the world over have associated these occurrences with earth-changing events. Especially the occurrence of a Tetrad.The first Tetrad since the Middle Ages, in 1493, saw the expulsion of Jews by the Catholic Spanish Inquisition, which rocked western Europe. The second coincided with the establishment of the State of Israel – after thousands of years of struggle – in 1949.
Invariably people have predicted Apocalypse NOW! A sign from God! Something cataclysmic is in the offing is a general consensus. The Bible talks of a dark sun and a moon turning to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
However Scientists explain it as the moon having moved into the darkest part of the Earth’s shadow results in the suns rays passing through the earth’s atmosphere before reaching and being reflected by the moon resulting in this awesome rare spectacle of the moon being seen as red or reddish brown. The last of the current Tetrad will be seen in Sep 2015 and the next one is due on 23 Oct this year. The moon is 5% larger as it is the closest it can ever get to the earth.
Its an event one rarely gets to see in a lifetime… so mark the date and catch a glimpse the next time it happens more so if you are lucky enough to be in a part of the world from where it can be clearly seen . Trust me, its an awesome visual treat.
Click here to watch a video: Courtesy WSJ