Beautiful Blood Red Moons: Tetrad of Lunar Eclipses [20 PICS]

April 12th, 2014 Permalink

April 15 is tax day in the USA, but don’t let that get you down. Instead, lift your eyes toward the heavens during the darkness and wee hours of the morning to view the first of four total lunar eclipses, spaced six full moons apart. Those four consecutive total lunar eclipses are called a tetrad. Christian Pastor John Hagee dubbed them “Blood Moons” denoting change for Israel; these total eclipses of the moon occur on Jewish holidays such a Passover in April 2014 and April 2015, and Sukkot, or the Feast of Tabernacles, in September 2014 and September 2015. Some folks are even claiming this series of blood-red moons is heralding the end is nigh. You’ve might have seen “blood red” moons before as the term has previously been applied to the coloring of Harvest moons. One thing that’s for sure, if you live in the USA, then you have a front row seat for a tetrad of lunar eclipses. Here’s a calculator to figure when you can see it from where you live. Here are some beautiful photos of blood red moons, aka total lunar eclipses. [20 Photos]

Tetrad Blood Red Moon, harbinger of end times

So you might have heard about the coming tetrad? This shot of a total lunar eclipse over a church and cross reminded us of the coming four consecutive total lunar eclipses. During such an eclipse, the moon can appear to be reddish in color. Some folks are calling them “Blood Moons,” others are quoting Biblical prophecy of when the moon turns blood red, a harbinger of end times. NASA says if you are in the USA, then you have a front row seat to view the 2014-2015 tetrad. Photo #1 by D. Wood

Blood red moon, total lunar eclipse over Namibia Reserve

NASA says the coloring of the moon during a total eclipse can vary, depending upon dust, clouds and if there are extra particles in the atmosphere. After a volcanic eruption, for example, the moon will appear a darker shade of red. This “blood red moon” was seen over the NamibRand Nature Reserve in Namibia on June 15, 2011. Photo #2 by George Tucker


Blood Moon, lunar eclipse, over Vatican City in March 2008

Lunar eclipse, over Vatican City in March 2008. “The most unique thing about the 2014-2015 tetrad is that all of them are visible for all or parts of the USA,” stated NASA eclipse expert Fred Espenak. Put another way, it seems NASA isn’t freaking out that one of the four horsemen could ride that night heralding the end is nigh. Photo #3 by Riccardo Cuppini

Lunar eclipse over Golden Gate Bridge

Lunar eclipse over Golden Gate Bridge. You may hear Revelations quoted in reference to these total lunar eclipses. Revelation 6:12-14: “When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale. The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.” Photo #4 by danishdynamite

Lunar eclipse from March 2007

The four total lunar eclipses will occur about six months apart on the following dates: April 15, 2014; October 8, 2014; April 4, 2015, and September 28, 2015. Why does the moon seem red? NASA stated, “A quick trip to the Moon provides the answer: Imagine yourself standing on a dusty lunar plain looking up at the sky. Overhead hangs Earth, nightside down, completely hiding the sun behind it. The eclipse is underway. You might expect Earth seen in this way to be utterly dark, but it’s not. The rim of the planet is on fire! As you scan your eye around Earth’s circumference, you’re seeing every sunrise and every sunset in the world, all of them, all at once. This incredible light beams into the heart of Earth’s shadow, filling it with a coppery glow and transforming the Moon into a great red orb.” Photo #5 by André van Rooyen

Lunar Eclipse from Devil's Backbone in Colorado

NASA explained that lunar eclipses don’t occur in a particular order, but there are about two a year on average. “Not all of them are total. There are three types: A penumbral eclipse is when the Moon passes through the pale outskirts of Earth’s shadow. It’s so subtle, sky watchers often don’t notice an eclipse is underway. A partial eclipse is more dramatic. The Moon dips into the core of Earth’s shadow, but not all the way, so only a fraction of Moon is darkened. A total eclipse, when the entire Moon is shadowed, is best of all. The face of the Moon turns sunset-red for up to an hour or more as the eclipse slowly unfolds.” This eclipse of the moon was seen when the photographer looked “west from Devil’s Backbone Open Space, outside of Loveland, Colorado,” on December 10, 2011. Photo #6 by Steven Bratman

Total Lunar Eclipse over the Washington Monument, December 2010

Author and Pastor John Hagee’s book, “Four Blood Moons: Something is About to Change” is about how the tetrad marks a change for Israel. These “blood moons” all happen on Jewish holidays, April 15 coincides with Passover; October 8 ‘blood moon’ occurs during the Feast of the Tabernacle (Sukkot); April 4, 2015, is again during Passover. September 28, 2015, also during the Sukkot, or the Feast of the Tabernacles. This photo, according to NASA: “The Washington Monument is seen as the full moon is shadowed by the Earth during a total lunar eclipse on the arrival of the winter solstice, Tuesday, December 21, 2010 in Washington. From beginning to end, the eclipse lasted about 3 hours and 28 minutes.” Photo #7 by NASA / Bill Ingalls

Space shuttle Discovery and the lunar eclipse

Space shuttle Discovery and the lunar eclipse. NASA wrote, “Space shuttle Discovery waits to roll back from Launch Pad 39A to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida in the early morning hours of Dec 21, 2010, with the beginning of the total lunar eclipse clearly in view.” EarthSky quotes Joel 2:31 (Common English Bible) as “The sun will be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood before the great and dreadful day of the LORD comes.” They then point out, “That description, by the way, describes both a total solar eclipse and total lunar eclipse. Sun turned to darkness = moon directly between the Earth and sun in a total solar eclipse. Moon turned to blood = Earth directly between the sun and moon, Earth’s shadow falling on the moon in a total lunar eclipse.” Photo #8 by NASA / Kim Shiflett

Total Lunar Eclipse, blood moon from Dec 2010

Total Lunar Eclipse from Dec 2010. Red Moon shows quite a few Bible verses talking about a blood moon, such as Acts 2:20 “The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.” Photo #9 by NASA / Bill Ingalls

Lunar eclipse as seen from France in 2011

Lunar eclipse as seen from France in 2011. It might be well worth your time to go outside and watch it in real time. If you wonder when you can see the total eclipse of the moon, the U.S. Navy has a handy-dandy tool to get exact times for where you are. Photo #10 by Thomas Bresson

Total Lunar Eclipse Tetrads This Century from 2000 to 2100

Total Lunar Eclipse Tetrads This Century from 2000 to 2100. We heard that tetrads are rare, so we went to the experts to see if that is true. NASA has a five millennium catalog of lunar eclipses! Using NASA’s data, as well as the Astronomical Observers Handbook (.pdf), here is a list with the current tetrad highlighted. In case you are curious, there will be 230 lunar eclipses in the 21st century (2001–2100): “87 penumbral, 58 partial and 85 total” eclipses. Regarding lunar tetrads, “in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, there were none at all. If we include all the centuries from the 1st century (AD 1-100) through the 21st century (2001-2100), inclusive, there are a total of 62 tetrads. The last one occurred in 2003-2004.” For tetrads that fell on the Jewish feasts of Passover and Sukkot, EarthSky says there have been “8 in 21 centuries.” #11 graphic by LoveThesePics

Lunar Eclipse Dec 21 2010 from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Lunar Eclipse Dec 21 2010 from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Have you ever tried to capture a total lunar eclipse? If not, then this would be a great time to attempt it. You’ll notice some people also include a landmark to add eye candy, while others zoom in to see man-in-the-moon details. Mr. Eclipse, aka Fred Espenak, has tips for how to photograph a lunar eclipse. Photo #12 by Thxguy

Lunar eclipse December 2010 winner, NASA wallpaper

The December 2010 winner from NASA’s lunar eclipse photography contest was turned into wallpaper. Photo #13 by Keith Burns / NASA

Total lunar eclipse, red moon, over CN tower and Christ Church

Left: Lunar Eclipse and the CN Tower. Right: Lunar eclipse as seen from Christ Church, West Hawthorn, Melbourne, Victoria. Photo #14 by Oscar Strawczynski & #15 by Peter Neish

Lunar Eclipse Winter Solstice Moon

“Lunar Eclipse, Winter Solstice Moon (once in a life time) Dec 20 2010,” wrote the photographer. “December 21st, 1638 was the last time we had a lunar eclipse on a winter solstice full moon.” Photo #16 by Bruce McKay

Blood red moon, total lunar eclipse in 2007

Blood red moon in 2007. NASA has a webpage devoted to lunar eclipses and another devoted to the 2014-2015 tetrad. Photo #17 by Jes (mugley)

Total eclipse of the moon, this blood moon occurred in 2011

Total eclipse of the moon in 2011. At the time, the photographer noted, “If you missed it, the next total lunar eclipse viewable from North America will be April 15, 2014.” And here we are, ready for the tetrad. Photo #18 by Robert Couse-Baker

Lunar Eclipse Mosaic

Mosaic, a sequence of images from the total lunar eclipse of August 28, 2007 over Redmond, Washington. Photo #19 by Don McCrady

A Rare Hybrid Eclipse

Now this one, it does look doomsday-scary. “A Rare Hybrid Eclipse,” said NASA of this Nov. 3, 2013 event. “The moon got between us and the sun last week on Nov 3. The eclipse was total for viewers in much of Africa, but if you happened to be at just the right spot in the Western Atlantic, you would have seen an annular eclipse (meaning that a ring of sunlight would still be visible). Such dual total/annular eclipses are referred to as ‘hybrids’.” Photo #20 by NASA / Hinode

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