Mars, Earth, 'Blood Moon' & Sun Line Up Perfectly in Sky to Dazzle Skygazers
Astronomers say a blood moon eclipse will happen in 2019
- A blood moon is when a Supermoon and a total lunar eclipse happen at the same time.
- It gets its "bloody" color when light from the sun is absorbed by the Earth's atmosphere.
- Since red light isn't absorbed, it bounces off the moon, giving it a blood-like tinge.
Replete with a full-on satanic ritual conducted under the red light of a blood moon eclipse, Netflix's "The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" is a far cry from the happy-go-lucky original. But as chilling as that blood moon scene is, astronomy experts tellInversethat there's no reason to fear the woods at midnight this Halloween. They do, however, point out that a moon with eerily similar features is in our near future.
Caution: Mild spoilers forSabrinaahead.
In the first episode, Aunt Zelda explains that the blood moon eclipse necessary for the dark baptism only occurs every 66 years. This number is probably fictional, explains Andrew Shaner, who leads the lunar education efforts at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston. A blood moon is simply the result of a lunar eclipse positioned in a certain way, and lunar eclipses happen fairly regularly. In the 21st century, we're going to experience 221 of them, according to NASA.
Previously,Inverseexplained what a blood moon is:
A blood moon is simply the result of a Supermoon — where a full moon or new moon occurs as the little rock makes its approach to the Earth — and a total lunar eclipse — when the sun, Earth, and moon are aligned and cause the Earth to cast a shadow on the moon — happening at the same time. It's actually called a Supermoon Lunar Eclipse.
So, while blood moon eclipses are not that rare, Aunt Zelda is right to think that a lunar eclipse that has that bright shade of redandoccurs at the right time for a Dark Baptism is incredibly rare, Shaner tellsInverse. But fortunately for Auntie Z and other witches, there's a wealth of alternative options for equally spooky moons, and one of them is coming soon.
What Makes the Moon So Bloody
A simulated view of Earth from the moon during the total lunar eclipse of September 27, 2015.
Usually, Shaner says, a lunar eclipse happens about twice per year, when the Earth is positioned directly between the sun and the moon. When this happens, the moon is completely obscured by the earth's "umbral shadow," the giant cone-like silhouette cast by the Earth as the sun hits it from one side. When this happens, some of the light from the sun is absorbed by the Earth's atmosphere. Red light, however, isn't absorbed, and so it bounces off the moon, giving it a blood-like tinge.
But the brilliant red we see in during Sabrina's dark baptism is quite rare for an eclipse, admits Shaner. For the moon to actually get that red, it has to be positioned in one particularplacein the earth's shadow.
"It depends on how much of the moon will pass through the earth's shadow. That will change how much the moon changes color," Shaner says." n some eclipses, it barely passes through the shadow, so it just becomes a darker gray color, versus when it really comes right through the middle of the shadow you get this dark red color."
For the blood moon to get that red, it would have to pass through the exact center of the earth's shadow, which is called the umbra.
Shaner says to think about it like putting a piece of paper horizontally through the earth. The closer the moon gets to that center, the darker the red color will be and, importantly, the longer the eclipse will actually last. This is what we see inSabrina: a moon that has perfectly aligned with that central mark, resulting in a brilliant, lengthy eclipse.
This past July, we experienced the longest eclipse of this century. During that eclipse, the moon passed through the sweet central spot in the umbra that Shaner described. Unfortunately, it occurred at 3:41pm EST, so it would have been of no use to the witches of Greendale, which according to fan theory is likely near Riverdale in New York State. After all, for a lunar eclipse to be appropriate for a Dark Baptism, it would have to happenat night.
Fortunately, as astronomer Jana Grcevitch, Ph.D., at Columbia University's astronomy department tellsInverse, there are some options in our future. "Is it theoretically possible there is a total lunar eclipse visible at midnight from a town in upstate NY? The answer here is yes!" Grcevitch says.
On October 29th 2050, there will be a visible lunar eclipse, so that's one possibility.
Video: Lunar Eclipse 101 | National Geographic
How to Care for a PICC Line
Fitness and beauty lessons from Romee Strijd
INSIDER video is hiring a writing intern for food
Estee Lauder - Resilience Lift FirmingSculpting Eye Creme - 15ml0.5oz
Béarnaise Sauce Recipe
Granola with Toasted Almonds and Cherries
Some teachers have to buy food for hungry students
8 Colours To Add To Your SpringSummer Wardrobe
Maria Grazia Chiuri Said to Be Dior’s New Creative Director
Pork, Pistachio and Prune Terrine Recipe
Beyond The Safari: Crazy Things To Do In South Africa
How to Describe the Setting in a Story
Do you think Cameron was right to speak out