The total lunar eclipse will be visible at moonset for most of North America. The glowing orb will be 5.3 percent larger than the last total lunar eclipse, which occurred on April 15, according to NASA.
Lunar eclipses are always interesting, though the “blood moon” is a much rarer event. Instead of a total eclipse, the moon is bathed in a red-orange hue of refracted light coming from around Earth.
With tonight’s impending blood moon eclipse (the first of four over the next 18 months or so), many people are discussing its cosmic significance; some are even suggesting that it may be a sign from God such as aportent of the apocalypse. As anABC News storynotes, “for some it signals a certain foreboding. ‘Something is about to change,’ Pastor John Hagee of the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, writes in his newest book on the four blood moons. Because many biblical references cite the celestial bodies, Hagee says, ‘God uses the sun, moon and stars to send signals to us on the earth.’”
Among the more alarming Biblical verses referring to the moon can be found in Joel 2:30: “And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: Blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness. And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord” (KJV). Pretty heady stuff, though the moon has turned “into blood” several times before, and nothing apocalyptic happened.
Many police and doctors believe that people go “a little extra crazy” on full moons, though the evidence seems largely anecdotal and has not been borne out in scientific studies. Researchers Ivan Kelly, James Rotton, and Roger Culver, in their study “The Moon was Full and Nothing Happened” (published in the book “The Hundredth Monkey and Other Paradigms of the Paranormal”) examined more than 100 studies and found no significant correlation between phases of the moon and disasters or homicide rates.
Pointing at the moon has traditionally been considered unlucky, though various explanations are offered for why; some say that the “man in the moon” who resides there considers it rude. According to one superstition from the British Isles, anyone who points at the moon nine times cannot enter heaven, no matter how pious he or she has been. It’s not clear if the nine times are in a row (which would be pretty easy to avoid, to secure a place in heaven) or over a lifetime (in which case each person better have a good memory to keep the pearly gates open; I wonder if anyone pointed to the moon eight times, and they just started to point a ninth time, just to tempt Fate).
The best I can today is enjoy this beauty of creation and always be ready. "We know not the day or the time" of what is going to happen to us or our loved ones.
It's foggy in Martinsville this morning so the coverage on TV and social media is the best I can do to view this spectacular event. Every day is spectacular in its own way if I participate in its wonder.
That's hard to do some days but that is the task at hand.