WASHINGTON, September 27, 2015 — Tonight’s blood moon eclipse is unique for a number of reasons, the least of which are its many names: super moon, mega-moon, Harvest Moon, Sukkot moon and blood moon. Whatever you call it, do try to catch this lunar event that should be visible before midnight across North America.
- This total lunar eclipse occurs during prime time throughout the United States.
- Pacific Time: totality begins 7:11pm ends 8:23pm
- Mountain Time: totality begins 8:11pm ends 9:23pm
- Central Time: totality begins 9:11pm ends 10:23pm
- Eastern Time: totality begins 10:11pm ends 11:23pm
Setting a new size record, the Moon’s apparent size during this total lunar eclipse of this Harvest Moon will be the biggest and brightest in nearly seven decades, since December 8, 1946. Moon’s Semi-diameter during totality: 16’44.7″ on Dec 08, 1946; 16’44.5″ on Sep 27, 2015; 16’44.6″ on Oct 08, 2033 (courtesy Slooh Observatory).
Tonight’s total lunar eclipse marks the end of a tetrad, or series of super moons. There will not be another until the period of 2032-2033. But very special is that this total lunar eclipse marks the end of a Biblical tetrad that started with the Passover Blood Moon (4/15/14), the Sukkot Blood Moon (10/08/14), Passover (4/4/15) and tonight’s Sukkot event (9/28/15). (Dates are in Israel; go one day back for the North America dates.)
There won’t be another biblical tetrad for another 567 years, in 2582-2583. Most of us are unlikely to be here to see that one, so don’t miss tonight’s event.
If you are under rain and cloud cover tonight or are not in the Pacific Rim area, it doesn’t mean you need to miss tonight’s blood-moon eclipse.
You can watch it courtesy of the SLOOH observatory live stream here (please allow live stream to load; it may take a few moments):
A lunar eclipse occurs when the sun, Earth and the full moon form a nearly straight line so that the full moon passes through Earth’s shadow, called the umbra. Tonight’s Mega Harvest Moon is the final full moon of the Lunar Tetra and it is also the largest, or closest, super moon of 2015.
Earth Sky.org offers global eclipse times:
- Eclipse watchers in North America and all of South America will be able to see the moon rise just after sunset September 27.
- South America and Greenland, the greatest eclipse happens later in the night, around midnight September 27-28.
- In Europe, Africa and the Middle East, the total eclipse takes place after midnight and before sunrise on Monday September 28.
- A partial lunar eclipse can be seen after sunset September 27 from western Alaska, or before sunrise September 28 in far-western Asia.
The eclipse is also known as a “blood moon” due to the coppery red hue the moon has as a result of the sunsets and sunrises on the Earth that reflect back onto the lunar surface.
Unlike a solar eclipse, the lunar eclipse can be viewed directly, or using binoculars or a telescope, so do not be afraid to view this phenomena.
For some, the four blood moons of 2014 – 2015 foretell religiously significant events. The blood moons coincide with Passover on April 15, 2014 and April 4, 2015, and with Sukkot on October 8, 2014 and on September 28, 2015 (September 27 in U.S.).
These four blood moons are unique because they are happening in quick succession, thus the term “tetrad” is applied; the “Blood Moon Tetrad” has been written about by both science and religious thinkers.
Some are taking the occurrence of the blood moon tetrad as an omen.
In Moses’ five books known as the Torah, Tractate Sukkah 29a indicates that if the moon is in eclipse, it is a sign of wrath that will come upon Israel while solar eclipse of the sun is a bad omen for the world, The Blood Moon prophecy.
The Talmud reads: “If its face is as red as blood, (it is a sign that) the sword is coming to the world.”
In summary, Lunar Eclipse = bad omen for the Jewish people and Israel; Blood Moon = sword coming;
Christian pastors John Hagee, author Four Blood Moons: Something Is About To Change (2013)) and (a series of four consecutive total lunar eclipses, with six full moons in between, and no intervening partial lunar eclipses) which began with the is a sign of the end times.
Biltz has looked into occasions of past Blood Moons corresponding with Jewish days of commemoration and found:
“2 Partial Lunar Eclipses occurred on the Jewish Passover and Feast of Tabernacles holidays in 70 A.D. when the destruction of the 2nd Temple happened on the 9th of Av according to the Hebrew calendar or August 4th in 70 AD. In 73 A.D., the Roman Army conquered Israel ending over 1,000 years of Jewish rule in the Holy Land.
“Israel regained its independence in 1948, just before a sequence of four red blood moons happened in 1949 & 1950 during Passover and Sukkot which you may know of as the Feast of Tabernacles. Again, this happened in 1967 and 68. There were four blood moons in a tetrad all falling on Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles. The most significant event was in June of 1967 when Israel recaptured Jerusalem during the Six-Day War.”
“In Genesis Chapter 1 verse 14 when God created the moon, people think it was for light and heat, but if you read, it was for signs. Many westernized Christians read the seasons and think: ‘It’s summer, winter, etc. but translated as Hebrew it’s for signals on the Jewish feast days when significant events are going to happen.’
Offering an opposing opinion Bruce McClure and Deborah Byrd wrote What is a Blood Moon for Earth & Sky:
There are a total of 8 tetrads in the 21st century (2001 to 2100). But proponents of this Biblical prophecy regard the ongoing tetrad as especially significant because it coincides with two important Jewish holidays: Passover and Tabernacles.
The April 2014 and April 2015 total lunar eclipses align with the feast of Passover. The October 2014 and September 2015 total lunar eclipses align with the feast of Tabernacles.
The Jewish calendar is a lunar calendar. In any year, it’s inevitable that a full moon should fall on or near the feasts of Passover (15 Nissan) and Tabernacles (15 Tishri). Nissan and Tishri are the first and seventh months of the Jewish calendar, respectively.
It is somewhat ironic that three of these four lunar eclipses are not visible – even in part – from Israel. The only eclipse that can be seen at all from Israel is the tail end of the September 28, 2015 eclipse, which may be observable for a short while before sunrise.
Slide show from the April 2014 eclipse
Click 2 to see 2 am photo