Picture of the Day: The Blood Moon
THE BLOOD MOON
The United States was in a prime orbital position and time of day to view the eclipse on April 15, 2014. Depending on local weather conditions (it was cloudy and overcast for many), the public got a spectacular view looking into the sky as the moon’s appearance changed from bright orange to blood red to dark brown and perhaps gray.
The eclipse is a phenomenon that occurs when the Earth, moon and sun are in perfect alignment, blanketing the moon in the Earth’s shadow. The United States will not be able to witness a full lunar eclipse in its entirety again until 2019. This image was taken in San Jose, California by Brian Day.
As for the blood moon reference, this is a term that the media has picked up and run with recently. It is in reference to the four ‘red moons’ of a lunar tetrad. A lunar tetrad refers to four successive total lunar eclipses with no partial lunar eclipses in between, each of which is separated from the other by six lunar months (six full moons). There’s a good write-up on EarthSky about the whole ‘blood moon’ thing.