Four blood moons: Total lunar eclipse series not a sign of apocalypse
There has been a lot of interest in an upcoming series of lunar eclipses that begins April 15. These are usually described as 'four blood moons' and taken by some to prophesy upcoming disasters.
This NASA graphic shows where the total lunar eclipse of April 14-15, 2014 will be visible from. The lunar eclipse coincides with April's full moon and is the first of four total lunar eclipes (a tetrad) between April 2014 and September 2015. Credit: NASA | JPL-Caltech
There has been a lot of interest recently in an upcoming series of lunar eclipses that begins April 15. These are usually described as "four blood moons" and taken by some to prophesy upcoming disasters.
The total lunar eclipse of April 15 will begin a so-called tetrad series of eclipses that is making the rounds online as a potential harbinger of doom, due in part to a recent book on the four blood moons that makes the dubious claim.
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Astronomers rarely if ever use the term blood moon. When they do, they are usually using it as an alternate name for the Hunter's Moon, the full moon that follows the Harvest Moon, usually in late October. The Hunter's Moon, like the Harvest Moon, rises slowly on autumn evenings so that it shines through a thick layer of the Earth's atmosphere, and is colored red by Rayleigh scattering and air pollution. [Four Blood Moons: Lunar Eclipse Tetrad Explained (Video)]
Lunar eclipses explained
A lunar eclipse is something quite different. It occurs when the moon passes through the Earth's shadow.The Earth's shadow consists of two parts: a dark inner core called the "umbra," and a lighter outer part called the "penumbra." Rather than being truly dark, the inner shadow is usually tinted orange or red by light passing through the ring of atmosphere surrounding the Earth.
Depending on the atmospheric conditions on Earth in the band of atmosphere through which the sun's light is passing, the umbra may take on a range of colors from light coppery-red to almost total black. The light illuminating an eclipsed moon is coming from thousands of sunsets and sunrises around the Earth. During some eclipses, these sunsets and sunrises are clear, and much light passes through; during others, clouds may block the light, causing a dark eclipse.
The blood moon
On rare occasions, the light reaching the moon is exactly the color of blood, but there is no way of predicting this in advance. So there are no grounds to call any particular lunar eclipse a blood moon until it actually shows its color.
Because the moon's orbit is slightly tilted with respect to the sun's path across the sky, most of the time the moon passes above or below the Earth's shadow, and no eclipse occurs. Sometimes it passes only through the penumbra and produces what is called a penumbral eclipse, a moon so lightly shaded that the casual observer might not even notice a difference. There were two such penumbral eclipses in 2013, on May 25 and Oct. 18. [Total Lunar Eclipses: Blood Red Moon Explained (Video)]
Sometimes the moon only dips slightly into the central shadow, and it produces a partial lunar eclipse. One of these occurred last year, on April 25.
The rarest of all lunar eclipses are those in which the moon passes through the darkest part of the shadow, a true total lunar eclipse. This last happened on Dec. 10, 2011.
What is unusual about this month's lunar eclipse is that it is the first of a series of four total lunar eclipses in a row. Called a tetrad, such a series of four total eclipses in a row is a fairly rare event. The last such series happened in the years 2003 and 2004. It will only occur seven more times in the current century.
So while a tetrad of total lunar eclipses is somewhat rare, it is not extraordinarily so, and probably nothing to make a fuss about. After all, the only thing that happens during a lunar eclipse is that the moon spends a couple of hours passing through the Earth's shadow, hardly something to be concerned about.
Unfortunately, there are still many superstitious people in the world. Such is the case in the book "Four Blood Moons: Something Is About to Change" (Worthy Publishing, 2013) by John Hagee, which suggests a link between the new total lunar eclipse tetrad and biblical prophecy about the end times.
This NASA graphic depicts the position of the moon in Earth's shadow during the total lunar eclipse of April 15, 2014 at 3 a.m. ET. It is the first of four consecutive total lunar eclipses, a tetrad, between April 2015 and September 2015.
When the mechanisms behind eclipses were less well understood, they were thought to be omens of bad tidings, just as comets were. Now people know that these are just normal events in the clockwork of the solar system, things which have occurred regularly for thousands of years and which will occur for thousands of years into the future.
Associations between "disastrous" events and normal astronomical events are all fabrications of the human mind, as people attempt to find explanations for why disasters affect them. Because of the Internet and cable news channels, people now hear reports of disasters from around the world, including earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions, which they never would have been aware of in the past. It's almost inevitable that something bad will happen right after an eclipse or a visit from a comet.
As an ardent skywatcher who derives much pleasure from beautiful events like lunar eclipses, it saddens me that there are "prophets of doom" in the world who view these life-enriching events as portents of disaster.
The good news about these forthcoming lunar eclipses is that all four will be visible to most skywatchers in North America. I hope that you will manage to observe one or more of them, and share their beauty with your friends. The eclipse on April 15 will require most North Americans to stay up into the wee hours of the morning, but it will be well worth it.
This article was provided to Space.com by Simulation Curriculum, the leader in space science curriculum solutions and the makers of Starry Night and SkySafari. Follow Starry Night on Twitter @StarryNightEdu. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+.
Original article on Space.com.
If you make an extraordinary - then not outside the statistical probabilities. Look's like you have a conflict within yourself to handle these prophecies. Some of those I mention are extroadinary - like the plane crashing in the Hudson but no one gets killed? Anybody with no sense would say that. It has to be visions from God himself. Also, most all are extraordinary but after 35+ years of this, it's common place here. I could tell of much more - especially the episodes when he came to Philly a few times. You suggest I might be lying? For what purpose? It would be a bad publicity for Jesus and I would fear what would become of me. Jesus Christ has the spirit of truth, the devil is a liar. That alone is the reason to trust me. You feel uncomfortable to give your location? Want me to cut & paste the health effects from Nuclear Radiation? Then compare if you get a "dose" of it.
How do you expect me to travel around the country and report every prophecy to you. As I explained, they come on the tapes 2-3 weeks later on the Radio. Else, being there. In the early 80's, he was on ABC TV and prayed to break the Texas heat wave and drought. My working buddies told me they saw him Sunday. In about 2 days, over 4" that the forecasters missed as I checked on them. Also on stage, he dropped to his knees as he saw a big airliner go down. Prayed that Jesus to save the plane. The next day on the news, the report that the plane had gone through volcanic ash and the engines quit but started 1000' above ground. The NYC plane crashed into the Hudson as he saw but show that God could spare and prophesied no loss of lives. Try that for prophecy. Another time, the TV news videoed a tornado heading to his Tent, he went out with his staff, rebuked it and it skipped over his tent. Another Hurricane 190 mph + as he was set 100 W. of Galveston. He prayed it
back as it was headed to him as forecasted. It died and turned south into Mexico. Forecasters called it a miracle hurricane. Just believe me and don't waste my time for documentation unless your to put this in the NY Times or USA today. Maybe you have a short memory as I asked you 2 times for your location to see if you will escape the Nuclear Radiation. Would you call this ahead of the facts? However, your safe because you won't see me to say your sorry - unless your at the meeting in the town when this happens. I know where. Jesus Christ has a prophet for the USA, not the clowns around here.
Time to put this article to rest. I declare, so what am I, who cares, that Geoff Gaherty was right and beat Hagey and was a better prophet than him. Geoff knew more than most of you realized. Now the score was 2.5, non see Israel 2.0 by the last post. However, did you hear that the Iranian leader may be staring his big peace proposal stating that the Holocaust was a heinous event for poor Israel. I think this deserves a 2.0 and is a big shockers. However, as for the US - we had tornadoes in NC 0 killed, 110 homes destroyed, then OK 10 killed, homes? Then Ark - 18 killed town leveled - homes - still counting.
I know this is the tornado season but being a meteorologist myself, noticing how there would be in sparse areas but now hitting more public - judgment. This is why I waited a week because there was some doubt as the time lag required that Israel events would happen after lunar eclipses that some & Hagey claim. As I also waited for the visible area events and the main reason the top US & prophet and evangelist was in Tifton, GA all this time and be sure, but I wasn't there but will hear about his prophecies, none of these major tornadoes will go by unprophesied. This last tornado batch may have been 30+ and they have declared a state of emergency in 4 counties - One tornado had a 80 - mile path, 1/2 mi wide. How about the US tornadoes days score .5,1 & 2 gives us a total Israel non see eclipse of 4.0, see 6.0. I spoke with my partner in our Radioactive Fallout model in Nevada and there was no red moon during the eclipse. Also, none reported on here. So for Israel that could not see the eclipse, we had political events - somewhat. However, those seeing it, especially the US had heavy on the nature side of things.
As usual, the main US prophet and evangelist still goes on piling perfection on his track record as Jesus confirms his preaching. I hope this opens some eyes of you balkers and stalkers that wouldn't even tell me their town so that I could tell them if a have a chance to survive. Stubbornness and pride may cost you your hide. Till I see you again, better tune into our best in the US - his name is David Terrell - he has a new web site with his scheduled tent appearances. Any more doubts after this, lets see your red face. Won't be as red as from the Nuclear blast. Search my name for my website?
Did ya'll know God mentioned ya'll in the bible?
I've been hearing prophecies of impending doom (or "good news" depending on who is doing the interpreting) all my life.
Just by random chance, you missed the right "who" but I didn't. Our top evangelist calls all the major earthquakes days and weeks in advance. Sometimes overnight. He sees new fault lines in the earth before the scientist. Names how many die and even where it's to hit in town. For nearly 40 years, he calls all the shots for the US on these, volcanoes, hurricanes & tornadoes. He was near Mt. Saint Helens and told them all first. Camille & Andrew were his. Haiti also. The newspapers verify. He called the drought in the Mississippi, elsewhere. It a proven track records. Some of these ministers can't be satisfied with their calling and try to become prophets. Now Hagee as an example - these blood moons were a washout for Israel, except for these earthquakes in the visible eclipse area. Anybody see red moons? I saw Hagee one day talk on Nuclear War and radioactive dust. However, when I referenced the model we have for it, and the list of the cities, he didn't respond. Just another one with a big mouth, as most of these ministers are gaining popularity. Also, exposed Harold Camping. let them spend money to make a book that fails. Now Hagey better be careful because the one list I had had San Antonio on it - where he lives. So important to me confirms, quit looking to Israel and follow the remains of Christianity - where God confirms the doctrine preaching by signs & wonders for 50 years with our best in the US. Who were the ministers that you heard prophesying? I thought I heard them all.
Here is part 2 on the earthquakes.
Lay's own research has found that over the last decade the number of major quakes, those measuring 8.0 or bigger, is nearly triple the rate for the 1900s, but whether that's just a random cluster or a sign of dynamic triggering is unclear.
In any case, the latter possibility is what got experts like Stein and Lay wondering if the Chilean quake had triggered others. A 7.2 on Mexico’s Pacific Coast on April 18 and a 7.5 off Papua New Guinea two days later were the latest to get attention.
Doing a quick review of quakes magnitude 6 or larger and which struck within the upper 43 miles (70 kilometers) of Earth’s crust, Lay found an uptick when comparing April 1-18 to the first three months of 2014.
But the increase wasn’t significant, so the question remained: Did dynamic triggering play a role, or was that just random chance? "That’s a harder problem to answer," Lay said.
Seismic wave data from the Chilean quake was studied by UC Santa Cruz grad students to see if it might have triggered one in Nicaragua nine days later. "We did not see anything obvious," Professor Emily Brodsky said of her team’s work.
Stein, like Lay, also counted quakes but looked instead at moderate and large quakes (4.5 magnitude or greater) in the 10 days before and after the April 1 quake that struck Iquique, Chile. In his email to peers, Stein concluded: "I do not see a global increase in activity post-Iquique, at least for moderate and larger quakes — the ones that matter for hazards."
"[It] seemed like a lot of big quakes" after Iquique, he later told NBC News, "but it's largely an illusion."
That letdown is part of the reality of earthquake science, which is still in its infancy. "We have false hunches all the time," Stein said. "We don’t want to miss something."
Making more sense of quakes, especially dynamic triggering, could be helped by a wider network of monitoring equipment. But that’s no easy task.