Blood moon

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Blood moon

Blood moon was seen around the world on the 4th of April. It is the 3rd viewing in a series of 4 blood moons. The 1st one occurred almost on the same day 1 year ago i.e. On April 5th, 2014, and the 2nd one occurred 6 months later on 8th October, 2014. The final one to complete the tetrad cycle will happen 6 months from now on the 28th of October, 2015.

 

What is a blood moon?

Blood moons are seen during Total Lunar Eclipses. A lunar eclipse is when the Earth comes in between the sun and the moon and blocks the rays of the sun from reaching the moon. The rays of light from the sun refract round the earth’s atmosphere and then falls on the moon, giving the moon a brownish red hue. Scientists call this a Blood Moon.

During a total lunar eclipse, the sun, moon and the earth lie in a straight line. If they do not lie in a perfectly straight line, then a partial lunar eclipse occurs known as a penumbral lunar eclipse.

When do blood moons occur?

Total lunar eclipses normally happen twice a year. The lunar eclipse that happened on the 4th of April was 1 of 4 lunar eclipses in a tetrad. A tetrad is when 4 total lunar eclipses occur in a row. When that happens, there is a 6-month gap between each eclipse, and within that time, no partial eclipse occurs.

A tetrad is a very rare occurrence and since the year 1 AD, only ‘8 tetrads’ have occurred, including the current one.

Blood moon sightings

The whole phenomenon lasted for around 5 minutes, and was seen in many countries around the world. Although the presence of clouds in the sky blocked the view in some countries, the eclipse was seen very clearly in others.