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April Blood Moon Kicks Off Lunar Eclipse Quartet

Why is it called a blood moon? Which planet will make a guest appearance near the moon? And what’s up with that biblical prophecy?

April's blood moon eclipse will show itself on April 15, 2014. Photo Credit: jurvetson, via flickr creative commons
April's blood moon eclipse will show itself on April 15, 2014. Photo Credit: jurvetson, via flickr creative commons

The lunar eclipse on April 15 is being referred to as a blood moon eclipse and if you’re like me, you’re probably wondering why.

The most obvious answer seems to be: “Because it looks red.” According to EarthSky, a full moon almost always takes on a copper hue during a total lunar eclipse, due to light dispersion from the Earth’s sunrises and sunsets.

“Thus the term blood moon can be and probably is applied to any and all total lunar eclipses,” EarthSky reports.

But with the publication of a 2013 book by John Hagee titled “Four Blood Moons: Something is About to Change,” the term has taken on a religious component.

“From what we’ve been able to gather, two Christian pastors, Mark Blitz and John Hagee, use the term Blood Moon to apply to the full moons of the upcoming tetrad – four successive total lunar eclipses, with no partial lunar eclipses in between, each of which is separated from the other by six lunar months (six full moons) – in 2014 and 2015,” Bruce McClure and Deborah Byrd write in this EarthSky article on the blood moon eclipse.

Definition recap: A lunar tetrad is a series of four consecutive total lunar eclipses that take place in six month intervals, approximately. That means that over the next two years, we’ll see four lunar eclipses.

Add to that a bit of biblical prophecy the lunar tetrad is thought to fulfill, something Hagee writes about in his book, and that’s why the folks at EarthSky think the term “blood moon” is gaining in popularity.

When to Watch

Night owls, rejoice: the lunar eclipse will begin around 1:20 a.m. Tuesday, April 15, on the East Coast. Check out this handy eclipse calculator for more info on when to watch in your area.

Bonus Celestial Stuff

Mars will make an appearance near the eclipsed moon. Red planet, red moon — I’m seeing a theme here…

Don’t forget to mark your calendars! Here’s the approximate dates for the rest of the lunar eclipses in the tetrad:

  • Oct. 8, 2014
  • April 4, 2015
  • Sept. 28, 2015

Happy moon-gazing to all! If you take pictures of the lunar eclipse, we'd love to see them! Feel free to post in our Town Square, under the "Conversations" tab above.
Joseph Lorusso April 13, 2014 at 08:59 AM
AOL should have gotten rid of their "community news " Patch thing last year - at least they finally are doing it; well, more or less. Only when Leftist demagogues who rail against the American Free Enterprise system have their OWN TEN$-OF-MILLION$ of dollars salary take a hit (such is the case with AOL CEO salary going from approx $10M, inclusive of stock options, to approx $5M - a year - which had now forced them to sell most of the stupid Patch crap to what is basically a consulting firm that takes failing assets such as Patch and restructure them). No one likes Patch. They may as well call it "If you go outside, your name will show up at some point in a negative reputation harming way." Wasn't it Arianna Huffington* (*an Austrian who married a billionaire, keeps his name after marriage ends and takes his money with her (see: John Kerry), was a lifelong Conservative and started Huffington Post with ANDREW BREITBART and then, as the bourgeois high society looks-down-her-nose at the little people from her glass air conditioned sky scraper corner office said "became a leftist because that's where the money is") or the AOL CEO who said that 'Americans do not have the Right to privacy." Good job Patch...you're about to lose your job - and that makes me happy 😊
Anne K. Mulligan April 13, 2014 at 10:51 AM
Joseph, if you don't Patch, you can simply unsubscribe to it.
Ilene Coman April 13, 2014 at 05:47 PM
I appreciate the Patch greatly. I don't know what Joseph's problem is with it but he looks pretty silly going off on a rampage about things that have nothing to do with Patch readers or the "Blue Moon" article he chose to spew his political hatred under! If you don't like Patch, don't click on it to see any of the news and information. I appreciate reading about what is going on locally because the Hartford Courant doesn't bother covering our community news anymore like it used to when they had different regional editions. It's as if our part of CT doesn't exist when you read through the skimpy Courant! I hope that the Patch continues to give us what's going on in our area of CT, if not thru AOL, then online somewhere else. Thank you, Patch!!!
citizen April 14, 2014 at 12:04 PM
Only a patch reader can connect something that is 210,000 miles away to Leftist demagogues.

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