Rare Lunar Eclipse ‘Blood Moon’ Occurred Early Wednesday

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October got its spook on early with this year’s second so-called Blood Moon, the final lunar eclipse of 2014 occurring shortly before sunrise this morning.

An eclipse happens briefly when the Earth, Moon, and Sun fall in a straight line during their respective orbits. A blood moon occurs when the sun’s red rays are scattered in Earth’s stratosphere and then reflected onto the moon, causing it to take on a majestic, fiery hue.

Total lunar eclipses such as this one typically occur every two and half years, but the trajectory of the sun, moon, and Earth’s orbit is currently creating a “lunar tetrad,” a series of four consecutive total eclipses that occur at roughly six month intervals. The first was April 15 of this year, the second October 8th, another on April 4, 2015, and a final one will be on September 28, 2015.

According to Space.com, if you look extra closely (binoculars or a telescope recommended), you may also see a turquoise band stretch across the moon before the eclipse reaches its totality. This is caused by the ozone layer in the upper levels of Earth’s stratosphere absorbing some of the red light reflected off Earth, leaving a blueish light in its place.

[via Space.com]

Zachery Bridgeman | Newscult

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