Students invited to view blood moon on garage rooftop Oct. 8

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 Illustration by Alexandra Nelipa

Illustration by Alexandra Nelipa

The second blood moon in a two-year series of four lunar eclipses, called a Tetrad, will appear.

By R. Eguia

A total blood moon will be visible the morning of Oct. 8 from 5:25-6:24 a.m.

Students are invited to join the astronomy department on the rooftop of the parking garage east of Chance Academic Center at 5 a.m. to see the moon through binoculars and small telescopes.

Quality digital photos of the moon can be captured in the telescope’s eyepiece.

A blood moons appear during complete lunar eclipses when sunlight is bent through Earth’s atmosphere and fills the moon’s shadow with a red glow.

A complete lunar eclipse only happens when the moon is full and Earth blocks the sunlight normally reflected by the moon.

Astronomy Professor Alfred Alaniz explains the red light is always present but is only reflected on the moon’s surface when sunlight is bent during the eclipse.

“I encourage everyone to arrange their own viewings of the event,” Alaniz said.

He called 2014 a “weird” year with a series of super moons as was observed August 10 and total eclipses appearing consistently.

The uncommon moon viewings have triggered many religious responses and biblical allusions from Mayan prophecies to pagan correspondences that Alaniz asserts is, “just cultural folklore.”

The series of four eclipses, called a tetrad, is very rare.

NASA reports an average of two eclipses per year but most are only partial eclipses, making the 2014-15 series unusual.

The first of the Tetrad appeared April 15 and the final two are April 4 and Sept. 28, 2015.


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