Will we see the rare “Blood Moon” lunar eclipse to occur Sunday in New Albany?

September 26th, 2015     General News

I admit it. I am a skywatcher.

Not that I know a lot about it, because I don’t. While I love the daytime’s cloud formations, rainbows and sunsets, the night sky is overwhelmingly beautiful and, in some ways, mystic.

At night, while sitting guard duty to deter the raccoons desirous of eating my  “outdoor” cats’  dinner, I often wonder at the beauty in the patch of sky visible through an opening in the trees that surround my back yard. It is easy to understand why mankind imbues the visible “heavens” with magical powers.

This awe of the night sky is something that came down through my “Bob Loonan” genes. I inherited his love of the skies, and his telescope, which I don’t know much about using. Though knowing what I now do about my life, and given a chance to “choose again,” I might very well choose astronomy. Please note, astronomy-not astrology.

Blood Moon, public domain

Blood Moon, public domain

Fairly early Sunday night there will be a very special  “Super Moon” lunar eclipse. A Super Moon is when a full moon occurs with the moon at perigee (its shortest distance from earth), and therefore appears to be about 14% larger and 30% brighter than at its apogee (farthest distance from earth). The moon will only be about 226,000 miles away Sunday, as compared to a possible apogee of 251,968 miles.

Sunday evening, the Super Moon (also called Harvest moon) will pass behind the earth and into the earth’s shadow, causing a lunar eclipse. Even though the moon is in the earth’s shadow, the red portion of the sun’s color spectrum can pass through the atmosphere to reflect off the moon’s surface. This causes a red tint across the surface of the moon, and it therefore becomes a Blood Moon.  Thus, we will have a rather rare Blood Moon eclipse coming tomorrow evening.

For those who are interested, the moon will rise in the east about 6:42PM our time. The lunar eclipse is at 8:07 PM. Find as dark an area as possible for best viewing.

According to astronomers, this last occurred in 1982 and will not repeat until 2033. Astrologers and biblical prophesiers peg it at more like 2000 years since the last occurrence, taking into account the four blood moons that occurred over the last two years, “tetrad blood moons” during the Jewish Holy Days, etc., and predict it may never happen again because of the end of the world.

Unfortunately, it appears that, because of weather, our chances of seeing this 2015 event in our area are only “fair,” but that is enough of a chance for me. I  figure the odds for me personally will only go down steeply 2033, even if the world does not end before then.

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