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Blog-blood moonby 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…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

Her books are available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

She also writes as Sandra McGregor.  Amazon and Barnes & Noble




Marilyn Baron - April 22, 2014 - 5:42 am

I love watching these heavenly events but we live in a wooded area and you can’t see the stars that much unless they’re peeking through the trees. I missed the blood moon event because it was too cloudy. I once took my daughters somewhere to watch Halley’s Comet. I tried to watch the Lyrid Meteor Shower last night from inside the house through the window but couldn’t see it. I enjoyed your post.

Piper - April 22, 2014 - 8:49 am

I would love to witness these eclipses. However I pay close attention to when they say they are visible. If that doesn’t include Georgia, I stay in my warm and cozy bed…;)

However, the whole explanation that you provided about the Tetrad is fascinating. I see some thriller or mystery writer getting the plot bunnies dancing just thinking about it…

Connie Gillam - April 22, 2014 - 10:06 am

I didn’t stay up to watch the eclipses. I heard it would be too cloudy to see.
And yes, Piper, the Tetrad had my little brain whirling wondering how could I use that in a book.

Sandy Elzie - April 22, 2014 - 1:50 pm

Hi Marilyn,
Luckily for the U.S., all four of these are to be visible to us. (Unless it’s cloudy, of course) 3@$I love the trees around your home…even if they block out things like eclipses.

Oh, and I watched Haley’s Comet while I was in California….but I missed trying to see the meteor shower last night

Sandy Elzie - April 22, 2014 - 1:51 pm

Hey Piper, Good luck on seeing the next one. I’ll be up…and hopefully the clouds won’t ruin our front-row seat.

Sandy Elzie - April 22, 2014 - 1:53 pm

I can’t wait to see if you come up with a way to use the tetrad in a story. I thought about it, but I write family friendly…small town with kids and pets. Can’t see a good way to use it myself. Good luck! Let us know how it goes.

Sia Huff - April 22, 2014 - 3:05 pm

Very interesting post, Sandy. I heard of the Blood Moon, but also heard the sky was too cloudy to see it. Of course, with my crazy schedule, I’m still not sure I’d wake up to see the event. We’ll see how tired I’m feeling over the next 18 months. :)

Susan Carlisle - April 22, 2014 - 4:12 pm

My family stays up and wakes up to see these types of things. We have even driven to a open space so that we can see the sky clearly without trees. I was disappointed that it was so rainy that night that we couldn’t see it. I look forward to the next one.

Sandy Elzie - April 22, 2014 - 6:55 pm

Hi Sia,
Hope you get to see at least one of them. My goal is to see all of them, even if on the computer through one of the many high-powered telescopes around the world.

Sandy Elzie - April 22, 2014 - 6:56 pm

Like your family, as I was growing up my family made sure to see every one of nature’s many “shows”. We even stayed up all night one year to watch a butterfly fight it’s way out of it’s cacoon. Ah, the memories of childhood.

Mary Marvella Barfield - April 22, 2014 - 7:46 pm

Between the clouds and the towering trees around my house, I didn’t try. Maybe one day!

Don Young - April 22, 2014 - 8:31 pm

Yes, I was up set up in a chair outside in my back yard with camera. Got some good shots but not to the point of the reddening during the full eclipse. I was not as prepared as I thought I was and couldn’t get the camera to take the low light pictures during the best part! Darn!!
I watched the Lyrid Meteor Shower last night also. It reminded me of when you, Lanny, Tim, Marty, Marilyn and several other kids in our neighborhood would get together laying on the cars or backs of trucks and watch the “shooting” stars! I don’t know if they were specific showers or not but we did it a couple of times. What fun!
I hope to be able to watch the next three eclipses and will be better prepared with my tripod and camera ready for taking very low light pictures, timed exposures if necessary.

Sandy Elzie - April 23, 2014 - 6:28 am

Hi Mary,
Yep, it’s quite a sight if the sky is clear. Thanks for dropping by to comment.

Sandy Elzie - April 23, 2014 - 6:30 am

Hi Don,
Oh yes, I remember those night with you and the rest of the gang…not to mention some all-night Monopoly games. As I said before, ah, the memories of youth. Thanks for dropping by and commenting.

Carol Burnside - April 24, 2014 - 2:53 pm

I’m not much of a sky watcher. We do live in an area where we can see the stars very well, but our luck with these rare occurrences hasn’t been very good. Mostly, I’ve gone out to check and see nothing very different at all. Maybe my timing is off.

Pam Asberry - April 25, 2014 - 7:51 am

Someday maybe I will live out in the country and be able to see all these spectacular sky shows. In the meantime, I content myself with reading about them!

Maxine Davis - April 25, 2014 - 10:34 am

Sandy, I had absolutely planned to see this, but I slept right through it. I do plan to set my alarm for the others. Don’t want to miss it. That picture is beautiful.

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