by Sandra Elzie
Did you know that recently…in fact, just last week…the Universe put on a show for you? Did you get the popcorn and a big soda and watch? Well, I have to admit that I didn’t do the popcorn thing at two in the morning, but I set the alarm and hubby and I got up to watch the first in a series of four Full Moon Eclipses…or the first in a Tetrad of “Blood Moons” that will make up the show over the next 18 months. Unfortunately, we had too many clouds to view this event, so we watched its progress on our laptop while sitting in bed, drinking coffee.
On that morning–April 15th– the planets lined up just right and we were able to witness the moon passing through the earth’s shadow…totally blocking out (or eclipsing) the moon. Oh, but wait, you might say, what’s the big deal? We have lunar eclipses all the time. Well, that’s true…to a point.
According to NASA, there are two lunar eclipses each year, but some…in fact, most…are what astronomers call penumbral or barely visible. On the other hand, lunar eclipses that line up just right so that we can see the full eclipse are called umbral eclipses. To have not just one umbral eclipse, but four of them…in a row...is…well…very, very rare. And if you put a full solar ( or sun) eclipse right smack dab in the middle of these four full lunar (moon) eclipses, you have an extremely rare event. I’d say it’s like hitting the mega-lotto…more than once….in a row.
In the 21st century there will be many tetrads, (four full, or “blood” moon eclipses in a row over approximately 18 months), but prior to the 20th century, there was a 300 year period when there were none at all. None? Really? Yep…it’s a bit odd. I joked with hubby that maybe the universe was just resting up for the next big show it has for us.
This past April 15th “blood moon” eclipse was a bit more interesting from a religious standpoint since it also fell on the Jewish feast day of Passover. In fact, several religious scholars have noted that the Tetrad spanning over 2014 and 2015, will ALL fall on Jewish feast days. This has happened before in recent history (1493/94, 1949/50 and 1967/67) and major events took place that had a huge impact on the Jewish people, so a lot of people are watching Israel to see what…if any…major event will happen over the next 18 month of this Tetrad.
My question for you, will you stay up late (or set the alarm to get up early) to watch any of the future eclipses? Have you rearranged your schedule in the past to watch any other ground-breaking event? If so, share it with us.
Also, if you want to read a bit more about Tetrads, I’ve listed a couple links, but the web is full of information on the subject.
About the author:
About The Author:
Sandra Elzie was challenged by her husband in 2001 not to wait until retirement in 2005 to start writing the book he’d been hearing about almost since they had been married. Picking up the gauntlet he’d thrown down, Sandra spent the next eight years honing her craft and published in 2008. She now lives in southern Georgia with her husband and cat and enjoys reading, traveling. Oh yeah, and she loves getting pictures of her kids and grandkids. To learn more, go to www.SandraElzie.com