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‘Blood Moon’ Oozes Over Southeast LA County

Photo taken by Pete Parker with a Canon EOS Rebel T3i

Photo taken by Pete Parker with a Canon EOS Rebel T3i

 

Hews Media Group Photographer Pete Parker captures this rare and magnificent spectacle from his lens here at a dark location in Cerritos.

Hews Media Group Photographer Pete Parker captures this rare and magnificent spectacle from his lens here at a dark location in Cerritos.

By Pete Parker

Residents and sky gazers in Cerritos, Norwalk, Downey, Hawaiian Gardens, and Commerce witnessed a “blood moon” crossing the Earth’s shadow in the midnight hours of Tuesday morning.

This total eclipse is the first in a series of four to follow, known as a “lunar tetrad.” Taking on a reddish hue, the Moon appeared in a series of different phases between the hours of 11pm and 1am PDT.

The Moon was most projected in North and South America, although some cities encountered overcast and scattered showers.

Many gathered the Griffith Observatory to witness the event. Observers pointed at the spectacle with binoculars, telescopes and cellphones. A Montebello resident who attended the spectacle, Tania Esqueda, commented, “I thought it was pretty cool how everyone came together to see it, I thought it was beautiful. It wasn’t as red as everyone thought it’d be though it was like a rich pink.”

Scott Collins, the creator of www.knowthecosmos.com, set up at Cerritos College last night for a live broadcast, with Dr. Thad Szabo who was joined by other star gazers.

Photo Courtesy of Thad Szabo Facebook Page

Photo Courtesy of Thad Szabo Facebook Page

According to Cerritos College Astronomy Professor Dr. Thad Szabo, “Mars reached opposition last week on April 8th but because Mars has a highly elliptical orbit it actually comes closer to the Earth on a different date, typically than when it’s exactly opposite the sun and the sky.”

Szabo also pointed out, “Mars is the closest tonight that it’s been in the past 6 years. April 14th, here on the West Coast, was the closest Mars was for this cycle. In a period of 2 years Mars will appear even closer and will be larger and much brighter.”

According to Star Sky, a lunar tetrad is four successive total lunar eclipses, with no partial eclipses in between, each of which is separated from the other by six lunar months (six full moons). There’s no obvious reason why Blood Moon should be associated with this term.

There is expected to be a total of 8 tetrads in the 21st Century, 2001-2100. Many advocates who consider this event a Biblical prophecy consider the upcoming tetrad significant because it coincides with two important Jewish holidays: Passover and Tabernacles.

The April 2014 and April 2015 total lunar eclipses align with the feast of Passover. The October 2014 and September 2015 total lunar eclipses align with the feast of Tabernacles.

The Jewish calendar is also a lunar calendar. It is predictable that a full moon should fall on or near the feasts of Passover (15 Nissan) and Tabernacles (15 Tishri). With respect, Nissan and Tishri are the first and seventh months of the Jewish calendar.

People may ask where the moon gets its red hue. The reason stems from the air we breathe. During a total lunar eclipse, the Earth lies directly between the sun and the moon, causing the Earth to cast its shadow on the moon. If Earth didn’t have an atmosphere, then, when the moon was entirely within Earth’s shadow, the moon would would appear black and invisible.

Dates for the Northern Hemisphere’s Harvest and Hunter’s Moons in 2014 and 2015:

2014: Harvest Moon: September 9, Autumn Equinox: September 23, Hunter’s (Blood) Moon: October 8.

2015: Autumn Equinox: September 23, Harvest Moon: September 28, Hunter’s (Blood) Moon: October 27

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