by Rebecca Arrowsmith, contributor
Photo from Creative Commons

blood-moon

Tuesday, April 15 is the start of a unique lunar tetrad — a series of four total lunar eclipses, each followed by six full moons. The full moon shows while in direct opposition to the sun. Every once in a while, it orbits inside Earth’s shadow forming a lunar eclipse. But the lunar tetrad is no ordinary lunar eclipse.

As the moon passes through Earth’s shadow, it will be low to the horizon. This gives the moon a dusty red color. “Blood moon,” as it has been dubbed by minister John Hagee, will occur around 2 a.m. EST and is rousing a new “end of times” theory called the “Blood Moon Prophecy.”

The last time a lunar tetrad occurred was in 2004, with no other recorded occurrence before that for centuries. “Blood moon” only recently became a title for this type of lunar eclipse as people began theorizing about its connection to biblical prophecy. The theorists refer to Acts 2:20 in the Bible, “The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord,” and Revelation 6:12, a similar verse. These suggest that Jesus will return for the Rapture, sending believers to heaven as non-believers perish.

Christians aren’t the only ones who are sensitive to the religious implications of the blood moons. The Jewish calendar has always synchronized to a lunar calendar and blood moon tetrad lunar eclipses will continue alongside it for the next two years. During the tetrad, blood moon eclipses within the April months happen on the same dates as Passover. The two other eclipses in October and September will take place during the Feast of Tabernacles. The timing of this unusual cosmic event could be viewed as ominous.

When the moon blocks out the sun, it is a solar eclipse. When the Earth blocks out the moon, it is a lunar eclipse. These are rare occurrences because when the moon orbits away from us, Earth can’t see any lunar or solar eclipses. So these blood moon eclipses — no matter their theological meaning — are certainly telescope-worthy events.

Mark your calendars and pray for no rain as you set the alarm for 2 a.m on Tuesday, April 15, 2014.