An article on the WTVR6 News site on Saturday described the spectacle of the coming lunar eclipse on Tuesday night as one the prophecy believers will just love. What makes this lunar eclipse so unusual is that it will turn our Moon blood-red.
Within the next 18 months, North America will be able to witness a Blood Moon eclipse four different times. The eclipse occurs when the Moon passes through the earth’s shadow, taking on the color of a desert sunset.
According to NASA, the dates are as follows: The four Blood Moons will occur in roughly six-month intervals on the following dates: April 15, 2014; October 8, 2014; April 4, 2015, and September 28, 2015.
This in itself is not so unusual, according to NASA. But having four lunar eclipses within a year and a half is definitely one for the history books. Let’s explore the science, history and prophecies behind the Blood-Moon. Following is a breakdown of our discussion:
1. The science: What is a lunar eclipse?
2. Lunar eclipses-penumbral, partial or umbral
3. Blood Moon: History
4. Blood Moon Tetrads
5. Prophecy and the Blood Moon
A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes behind the Earth and into its shadow. This can only occur when the Sun, Earth and Moon are in almost exact alignment. Also, the Earth has to be in the middle of this alignment.
Because of this special lining up of the heavenly bodies, an eclipse can only occur when we have a full Moon. While solar eclipses can only be seen from just a few places on the globe, lunar eclipses can be viewed anywhere it is night.
A partial eclipse occurs when only a small portion of the Moon enters into the Earths shadow, or umbra. The picture on the left shows the Moon on Saturday morning June 26, 2013, at 4:17 AM, when the northern half of the Moon slipped into the Earth’s dark shadow, creating a partial eclipse of the Moon.
When the Moon fully enters the Earths umbra, we get a total lunar eclipse. Every year there are at least two lunar eclipses, and occasionally as many as five. But total lunar eclipses are far less common.
Ancient Egyptians thought a sow was swallowing the Moon for a period of time, while other cultures laid the blame on other animals.Some societies thought a demon was taking the Moon from the sky, and would throw sticks and stones into the air to chase the demon away.
The first written record of a lunar eclipse was recorded on October 9, 425 BCE. Aristophanes, in his play, The Clouds, mentions a lunar eclipse that took place two years previously.
“the moon deserted her course and the sun at once veiled his beam threatening, no longer to give you light, if Cleon became general….”
NASA says, “Getting four umbral eclipses in a row is like drawing a rare lunar poker hand of four of a kind. Just like the poker players, astronomers have a name for that lucky draw. It’s called a tetrad.”
One thing is unusual about the four coming blood Moon eclipses. Before the dawn of the 20th century, there was a 300-year period without a single one.
It is well understood, historically that the Tetrad of the lunar eclipse of the Four Blood Moons took on more significance to the ancients. The Jews put great faith in the prophecy God foretold in the book of Genesis and the book of Joel in the Hebrew Torah.
Genesis 1:14- “And God said, Let there be light in the heaven to divide the day from the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.”
he Book of Joel, Chapter 3:3-4- “The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come.”
Even greater belief in the Four Blood Moons prophecy has come to pass, especially when scholars line up events that have occurred over the years that coincided with blood Moon eclipses.
Whether one puts any stock in prophecies or not, some Christians believe the coming event is a sign of the Apocalypse, others, being non-committal, prefer to say the eclipses are signs of a “world-shaking event” or “the end of an age.”
Others prefer to fall in line with the astronomers, and just hope the sky is clear on April 15. Don’t forget to have your camera ready, too.
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