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What Exactly Is A Blood Moon Eclipse And When Can We See It?

Photo by Abid Katib/Getty Images

When you think of April 15th, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Tax deadline right? Well, not if you’re into astronomy. Around 3am EST this coming Tuesday, the Earth’s shadow will start to blot out the moon and by 330am a full lunar eclipse should be in full swing, but this one is different than most. It’s called a blood moon, but what exactly Is it??


photo: Keith James / TSM

How’s that for art? Anyway, a ‘blood moon’ is when the moon will literally appear red during a rare total lunar eclipse, because the sun’s light will be refracted symmetrically by our atmosphere. This has only happened five times in the last century and besides that, this one is cool because the Americans will be facing the moon directly when it happens AND this is the first of FOUR of these in a row that are supposed to happen in the next year-and-a-half, called a lunar ‘tetrad’. This of course has some significance to those with a hyper supernatural bent, but for most of us it’s just gonna be a spectacular sight (as long as the clouds don’t obscure it). But hey, if getting up early isn’t your bag or Mother Nature throws a veil over our eyes, look for the next one on October 8th!


UPDATE: Here in the Mohawk Valley we were treated to the wonderful sight of clouds this morning, but here’s a time lapse video courtesy of an observatory who didn’t have a cloud in the sky…


Next: Footage of Aliens On The Moon?

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