What Is a Blood Moon? Why Is The Moon Red?

Blood moon, red full moon.

A blood moon occurs when Earth’s moon is in a total lunar eclipse. It has no special astronomical significance. Nevertheless, the usually whitish moon appears as strikingly red or ruddy-brown in the night sky.

The last blood moon occurred on January 20-21, 2019 and it coincided with a Supermoon and the Full Wolf Moon, earning it the title Super Blood Wolf Moon. The next blood moon will happen during the total lunar eclipse of May 26, 2021. It will be visible from parts of North America, Australia, the Pacific and Asia.

How this lunar event that causes fascination and dread in equal measure comes about? The fear is not exaggerated in this case, because there are many superstitious people out there who consider it as a sign of the end of the world. It does not seem likely that the world will end in May 2021. So we can breathe easy and await the event with healthy curiosity.

Why Does the Moon Look Red?

A large blood supermoon over the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

Blood moon is essentially a lunar eclipse, during which the Earth is positioned between the moon and the Sun. It also coincides with another astronomical event known as a super moon. During the course of it, the earth’s atmosphere filters the blue and green light reaching from the sun, only letting the red light pass through. That is why the moon is tinted with a reddish glow that reflects from our atmosphere. 

What Is a Supermoon?

This is the name given to the effect that occurs when the full moon is in one of its closest points to the Earth, which allows us to appreciate it in its brightest phase. In this phase it can be seen with up to 14% more of its size. And, as we already said, the reddish appearance that it will acquire will be due to the refraction of the solar rays in our atmosphere.

Where Will the Blood Moon Be Seen Next?

On May 26, 2021, a total lunar eclipse will be visible from parts of North America, Australia, the Pacific and Asia. However, the ‘blood moon’ part of the event will last barely 15 minutes. 

Why Does the Blood Moon Announces the End of the World?

The origin of the superstition about the bad omens of blood moon are attributed to an American reverend named John Hagee, author of the book Four Blood Moons: Something is about to change. Since the first two moons of this tetrad coincided with the Jewish Passover and another Hebrew festival, commonly called the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot), he interpreted it as a sign that the end of time is near.


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