Last night a rare “blood moon” lunar eclipse was visible over western North America. Utah happened to be blessed with clear skies, so we were able to see it.
A blood moon is a total lunar eclipse, when the Earth sits directly between the sun and the moon, obscuring the moon completely from the sun. The sun’s light refracts around the Earth, through our atmosphere, and reflects red wavelengths from the moon back to us. This colours the moon an eerie red. It doesn’t happen during a partial eclipse.
This lunar eclipse was considered special because it’s the first in a series of four full eclipses over the next 18 months with no partials in between – a tetrad – and has some Christian significance. The sun will be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood before the great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. (Joel, 2:31)
Gabriella, Max and I decided a blood moon was worth setting an alarm for, so at 12.30am, we got out of our warm beds and stood shivering outside the ski lodge. (Ian opted for more sleep.) As we stood watching the blood ooze slowly and predictably across the moon, canine creatures – whether wolves or dogs, I don’t know – started howling. It was surreal. And definitely worth the sleep deprivation.