(SNO) — On Sunday night into Monday morning, stargazers will have front-row seats to one of nature’s spectacular event, a phenomenon known as a “blood moon”.
And it will be visible right here in Saint Lucia.
A blood moon takes place during a lunar eclipse but instead of the full moon disappearing entirely, as it happens during a normal eclipse, it turns a rusty shade of red.
A lunar eclipse takes place when the Earth cast a shadow on the moon.
Total lunar eclipses are very rare. They happen only when a full moon, and only when the sun, Earth, and moon are precisely aligned so that the darkest part of our planet’s shadow completely blankets the lunar disk.
What’s even more interesting, on Saturday, the moon will be unusually close to the Earth and it will appear slightly bigger and brighter, making it a so-called “super moon”. In essence, what will be seen is a “super blood moon.”
But what makes the moon turn red?
According to National Geographic, during a total eclipse, sunlight shining through Earth’s dusty atmosphere is bent, or refracted, toward the red part of the spectrum before it’s cast onto the moon’s surface. As a result, you will see the lunar disk go from a dark gray color during the partial phase of the eclipse to a reddish-orange color during totality.
In order to see it here in Saint Lucia, you will have to stay up late.
The full effect of the blood moon will begin to be seen here at about at around 12:41 a.m., however effects of the event can be seen hours before.
The peak of the event will take place at 1:12 a.m. The entire event will last five hours and 12 minutes.
Throughout history, lunar eclipses and red-colored moons have inspired fear and awe.
Even the bible has its share of the phenomenon.
For example: The Book of Joel, 2:31, states: “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come.”
Revelations 6:12, says: “There was a great earthquake. The Sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair. The whole Moon turned blood red.”