When we get back to back, to back, to back, TOTAL lunar eclipses, the event is known as a Tetrad. NASA says the 21st century will host 9 sets of Tetrads, but don't think they happen too frequently, during the three hundred years between 1600 to 1900, there were no Tetrads! (The 20th century brought us 5, but I never saw any!!)
So now that we know these Tetrads are kind of a rare thing... when will they happen?
Starting on April 15th, we will get to see 4 of them. They will take place just about every 6 months with the last one on September 2015. Typically we get to see a lunar eclipse twice a year, but not all are of the TOTAL variety.
A TOTAL Eclipse is the home run, the touchdown if you will of Lunar Events. As you know, A total eclipse happens when the earth blocks the sun's rays from reaching the moon, thus our shadow covers the moon. The whole process can last about 1 hour.
The upcoming TOTAL Eclipse will also be known as the "Blood Moon" because of its reddish appearance. You may also hear, much as we did with the Mayan apocalypse of 2012, that this marks the end of the world, well rest easy we are going to be fine.
Here is the explanation according to universetoday.com
"As the Moon enters into the dark umbra or core of the shadow of the Earth... the redness of the Moon is simply due to the scattering of sunlight through the Earth’s atmosphere. Incidentally, this redness can vary considerably due to the amount of dust, ash, and particulate aerosols aloft in the Earth’s atmosphere, resulting in anything from a bright cherry red eclipse during totality to an eclipsed Moon almost disappearing from view altogether… but it’s well understood by science and not at all supernatural."
Here is another explanation from NASA:
"A quick trip to the Moon provides the answer: Imagine yourself standing on a dusty lunar plain looking up at the sky. Overhead hangs Earth, nightside down, completely hiding the sun behind it. The eclipse is underway.
You might expect Earth seen in this way to be utterly dark, but it's not. The rim of the planet is on fire! As you scan your eye around Earth's circumference, you're seeing every sunrise and every sunset in the world, all of them, all at once. This incredible light beams into the heart of Earth's shadow, filling it with a coppery glow and transforming the Moon into a great red orb."
The neat thing about this Tetrad, is that according to NASA, they will be visible from everywhere across the USA. So when do they start?
Here is your timeline:
- April 15, 2014
- Oct. 8, 2014
- April 4, 2015
- Sept. 28 2015.
NASA says, the first eclipse on the 15th will start at 2 AM Eastern time and lasting until 3 AM. If Mother Nature cooperates, it should be an easy eclipse to watch.