The first of four total lunar eclipses for 2014-15 happening on April 15, dubbed as the 'Blood Moon', will last 1 hour, 17 minutes and 48 seconds, the Universe Today says.
'Blood moon' will be entirely observable from the central Atlantic westward to eastern Australia.
'Blood Moon' happens when Earth casts its shadow on the moon resulting to a reddish-orange colour of the lunar surface.
Being part of four lunar eclipses in 2014-15, 'Blood Moon' is also known as "tetrad".
According to Fred Espenak, NASA eclipse expert, "tetrad" is a series of eclipse with all eclipses being visible partially or entirely across the United States. Espenak explained that that the April 15 eclipses is part of 9 sets of tetrads for the 21st century. The first set of these eclipses already happened in 2013.
Interestingly, the last tetrad happened way back in 16th century.
In an article from the web site, NEWSMAX, it was noted that 'blood moon' is viewed as a supernatural occurrence by some religions rather an astronomical event. Christian beliefs claim that the blood moon prophecy hinted the second coming of Jesus.
According to the article, the 'Blood Moon' became of religious importance because it concurs with major Jewish feast days. The 2014 'Blood Moon' happening on April 15 and Oct. 8 concur with the Jewish Passover and feast of the Tabernacle. In 2015, the 'Blood Moon' eclipse happening on April 4 and Sept 28 concur with the same Jewish holidays.
With this, the event is associated to a prophecy from the book of Genesis and the Jewish Bible's book of Joel.
"The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come." - Joel 3:4
The same verse was also written in Joel 2:31 in the Protestant Bible.
Lunar eclipses were also associated to landmark events in history: there was a lunar eclipse ahead of the fall of Constantinople in 1453; Christopher Columbus allegedly stir up an eclipse to get out of trouble and it was also through studying a 331 BC lunar eclipse that he predicted his position at sea; most recently a lunar eclipse happened the night the Red Sox won the World Series following 86 years of losing.
Meanwhile for those who want to enjoy the Blood Moon eclipse on April 15 as plainly an astronomical occurrence, here is the timeline as supplied by the Universe Today:
- Begins at 4:37 Universal Time (UT)/12:37 AM EDT, when the Moon enters the western edge of the Earth's shadow known as the penumbra
- The Moon will be completely immersed in the penumbra by 5:58 UT/1:58 AM EDT, only a faint tan should be expected
- Totality of the eclipse begins at 7:06 UT/3:06 AM EDT and lasts until 8:24 UT/4:24 AM EDT
- Mid-eclipse occurring just south of the center of the Earth's shadow at 7:46 UT/3:46 AM EDT
- The eclipse ends as the Moon slides out of the penumbra at 10:37 UT/ 6:37 AM EDT.