In less than two weeks, the moon will turn blood red for a short period and things may seem a little weird, but they couldn’t be more normal. After all, we’ve seen this twice in just the last twelve months.
And yet there’s long been anxiety over total lunar eclipses, also referred to as ‘blood moons’ for the reddish hue that the shadow of the Earth casts on the full moon during the not-really-that-rare event (it happens about every one to three years on average). Often thought of as a bad omen by various prognosticators of assorted religious, conspiratorial and otherwise paranoid stripes, it’s sometimes claimed that a lunar eclipse can “trigger” natural disasters like earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
Take a moment this Friday, July 27th and look up at the sky toward the longest lunar eclipse of this century, a magical deep red blood moon. Earthlings around the world will be treated to a special event, a lunar eclipse lasting 1 hour and 43 minutes long, close to the theoretical longest lunar eclipse possible and the longest of the 21st century.As the moon rises on Friday, July 27th in 2018 you will begin to see the process by which the moon hides beneath the Earth’s shadow, what we call a lunar eclipse.
If you are waiting in wings and have a plan to join the cozy club in heaven, now is apparently a good time. Next week signifies the start of the infamous Tetrad that will see four blood-red lunar eclipses followed by six full moons.
It is a cycle that has just started and is slated to end in September 2015. This cosmological event is so rare that NASA confirms it has happened only three times in the last 500 years.