America’s Election Day will include a “blood moon” and the last total lunar eclipse for three years.
The eclipse will be visible from four continents, including North America, Asia, Australia, and parts of South America.
A lunar eclipse occurs when the sun, Earth, and moon align with the moon passing into the Earth’s shadow, according to NASA. When the moon is within the Earth’s shadow, called the umbra, it exhibits a reddish color, leading to the name of a “Blood Moon.”
A similar action causes our sky to appear blue and sunsets red. The phenomenon, called Rayleigh scattering, occurs as light travels in waves, with blue light having a shorter wavelength and scattering more easily in the Earth’s atmosphere.
Red light travels more directly through the Earth’s atmosphere, NASA explains, causing the sun to appear red, orange, or yellow at sunset when the light must pass through more atmosphere and travel farther.
Scientists note that no special equipment is necessary to view the lunar eclipse. A telescope or binoculars can enhance the view, along with observing the eclipse in an area away from bright lights.
There are plenty of reasons to watch the skies in November: a total lunar eclipse, the Leonid meteors, and chances to see Mars, Saturn, and the star Spica! Check out the best times to spot these celestial bodies: pic.twitter.com/hmYGKio4Mq
— NASA (@NASA) November 2, 2022
NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio can calculate the best times to view the lunar eclipse in a person’s local area. Totality will be visible in the early morning hours before moonset in all of North and Central America, in addition to the early evening after moonrise in Asia and Australia.
The moon will begin to enter the outer part of the Earth’s shadow on Tuesday at approximately 3 am EST. The period of totality will last for nearly an hour and a half, or 5:17 am until 6:42 am Eastern Standard Time.
“It’s a wonderful reminder of this really special connection between the Earth, the moon and the sun,” said Noah Petro, a scientist with the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Project at NASA. “Every eclipse is special because they’re all wonderful opportunities to go out and look at the moon, our nearest neighbor in space.”
Following Tuesday’s eclipse, the next total lunar eclipse will not occur until March 14, 2025.
On November 8, 2022, the Moon will pass into Earth’s shadow and turn red. This will be the last total lunar eclipse for about 3 years, so be sure to check it out if it’s visible in your area.
— NASA Moon (@NASAMoon) October 27, 2022
The occurrence of a blood-red moon has been recorded from biblical times. The prophet Joel referred to the phenomenon in the Old Testament or Hebrew Bible, The New Testament book of Acts also quoted Joel’s prediction of the moon turning to blood.
In recent years, some religious writers have referred to the blood moon as a sign of the end times. Evangelist John Hagee published a book titled “Four Blood Moons,” referring to a grouping of red moons in 2014-2015.
The sequence of four consecutive blood moons, also called a tetrad, has occurred several times before, in 1909-10, 1927-28, 1949-50, 1967-68, 1985-86, and 2003-04. The next lunar tetrads will occur in 2032-33 and 2043-44.
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