WASHINGTON, October 7, 2014 – If you are, like so many, under rain and cloud cover tonight or not in a Pacific Rim area, it doesn’t mean you need to miss the second of the Blood Moon tetrads.
You can watch it courtesy of the SLOOH observatory live stream here:
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. Wednesday morning’s eclipse is the second — and final — total lunar eclipse of 2014 and will occur early Wednesday morning, just before sunrise in the Eastern Time Zone and in the middle of the night on the West Coast.
The eclipse will best be seen from the Pacific Ocean and bordering regions as the moon descends into southern Pisces, two days after a perigee moon that occurred October 06 at 09:41 UT. This means that the Moon will appear 5.3% larger than it did during the April 15 eclipse.
The total eclipse will last just under an hour and a bonus for sky watchers is that the autumn constellations are well placed for.
The center of the Great Square of Pegasus lies 15° to the northwest, its brightest star being Alpheratz (m = +2.02). Deneb Kaitos (m = +2.04) in Cetus is 30° south of the eclipsed Moon, while Hamal (m = +2.01) is 25° to the northeast, Aldebaran (m = +0.87) is 56° to the east, and Almach (m = +2.17) is 40° to the north.
Although relatively faint, the planet Uranus (m = +5.7) lies just 2/3° southeast of the Moon during totality. Is a transit of the Earth and Moon across the Sun’s disk visible from Uranus during the eclipse? An interesting idea but calculations show a miss. From Uranus, the Sun’s disk is only 1.7 arc-minutes in diameter and this is a very small target to hit. Nevertheless, transits of Earth from Uranus are possible – the next one takes place on 2024 November 17 (Meeus, 1989).
- The entire October 08 eclipse is visible from the Pacific Ocean and regions immediately bordering it. The northwestern 1/3 of North America will also witnesses all stages of the eclipse.
- Farther east, various phases occur after moonset. For instance, the Moon sets during totality from eastern Canada and the USA.
- Observers in South America also experience moonset during the early stages of the eclipse. All phases are visible from New Zealand and eastern 1/4 of Australia – the Moon rises during the early partial phases from Australia’s west coast.
- Most of Japan and easternmost Asia catch the entire eclipse as well.
- Farther west in Asia, various stages of the eclipse occur before moonrise.
- None of the eclipse is visible from Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, including Israel.
The eclipse is also known as The Blood Moon due to the coppery red hue the moon has as a result of the sunsets and sunrises from the Earth that reflects 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 future religiously relevant events. The Blood Moons coincide Passover on April 15, 2014, the Sukkot Blood Moon of October 8, 2014, the 2015 Passover Blood Moon on April 4 and the 2015 Sukkot Blood Moon on September 28.
These four Blood Moons are unique because they are happening in rather rapid succession, thus the term tetrad is applied; the occurrence of the Blood Moon Tetrad has been written about by both science and religious thinkers.
Many are taking the occurrence of the blood moons corresponding with Jewish fests 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; Solar Eclipse = bad omen for the world.
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.
Signs of biblical foretelling or just a very cool astronomical occurrence, if you miss Wednesday mornings eclipse, there will be another in the spring!
Slide show from the April 2014 eclipse
Click 2 to see 2 am photo