SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Just in time for tax day, which may feel like trying to squeeze blood from a rock, the moon will appear blood-red in a total lunar eclipse on the night of April 14th and overnight into April 15h.
The total eclipse will be at its best over the Bay Area at 12:46 a.m. on April 15th, but the beginnings of the eclipse will be visible starting around 9:55 p.m. The moon will begin turning red at 12:08 a.m.
The eclipse is a rare celestial phenomenon easily observed with the naked eye, and as such it can be quite moving. Biblical prophecies talk of the sky turning dark (usually a solar eclipse) or the moon turning to blood (usually a lunar eclipse). The red color is created when sunlight is filtered around the earth’s atmosphere, and hits the moon. The same phenomenon is observed every sunrise and sunset as the sky lights up with oranges and reds.
WATCH THE STAGES: Eclipse Times
VIEW THE ECLIPSE: Chabot Space & Science Center In Oakland
In the next few years, a series of eclipses every two years may be interpreted by some Christians as fulfillment of an End-Times prophecy, a phenomenon called a lunar “tetrad” where there are four successive total lunar eclipses, with no partial eclipse in between. The next are October 8th, and April 8th and September 28th of next year. Tetrads are not unusual. There will have been eight of them in this century, but author John Hagee’s finds deeper meaning.
In his book listing for “Four Blood Moons” on Amazon.com, he writes “It is rare that scripture, science, and history align with each other, yet the last three series of Four Blood Moons have done exactly that. ”
His top 100 bestseller references the Biblical book of Joel, 2:31, “The sun will be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come.”
BIBLICAL PROPHECY: Four Blood Moons
HOW ECLIPSES WORK: NASA’s Lunar Eclipse Page
For astronomers, however, it’s just a great opportunity to show off their telescopes after filing their taxes. Binoculars will provide a decent view of the skies, and a large telescope will help create stunning images.