A Blood Moon will grace our skies later this month, bathing the globe in an incandescent red glow. The latest astronomical event is a regular occurrence at the beginning of the year, as the Super Blue Blood Moon made rounds in January 2018. Such a dramatic change in the environment has lead many to develop their own superstitions, as people often do when greeted with an uncertain situation. Among these superstitions are an increased murder rate, and traditional fire and brimstone end of the world predictions.
Is the January eclipse a sign the World will end?
Despite January being widely seen as a month for fresh beginnings, the Blood Moon is seen as heralding the end for some.
This is especially true if you read into the depths of the Bible, where there are a few passages talking of the Blood Moon.
Both the book of Joel and the Book of Revelations have lines foretelling of the destruction wrought by the coming of a Blood Moon.
The book of Joel in particular tells of the rapture, and one of the conditions being a blood Moon rising.
The passage reads: “The sun will turn into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes.”
In the Book of Revelations, the Blood Moon appears alongside a cataclysmic earthquake.
The book says: “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood.”
What happens on the day of the Blood Moon is ultimately much less dramatic – as it will not bring about the end of the world as we know it.
However, the Blood Moon is hugely fascinating for those with an interest in astronomy.
The Moon has none of its own light, being illuminated primarily by reflecting the Sun’s rays.
Each aspect of the Moon, from Full Moon to Crescent, is caused by the Moon’s relation to the Sun and how light is cast over the object.
A Blood Moon is the result of the Earth and Sun interacting to project a particular kind of light on the Moon’s surface.
On the night of the Blood Moon, Earth will move in front of the Moon and light will filter through our planet’s atmosphere.
The physics of the Blood Moon are known as ‘Rayleigh scattering’, in which sunlight is refracted via the Earth’s atmosphere.
The Earth’s atmosphere is made up of a number of different constituent elements, including water droplets and dust particles.
Certain colours from the Sun’s colour spectrum are easily scattered via these particular elements, and as such do not pass through the atmosphere.
The colours which do pass are reds and oranges, which causes the Moon’s rusty look.
This mechanism is also what causes colourful sunrise and sunsets.