An unusual set of circumstances result in the phenomenon called a super blood wolf moon. When Earth’s moon in a total lunar eclipse has a reddish appearance and coincides with a supermoon and the Full Wolf Moon, it is called a super blood wolf moon.
As it appears bigger and brighter than usual, this phenomenon was called a supermoon. The first full moon that occurs in January is traditionally called the wolf moon, hence the super blood wolf name.
Many enthusiasts are excited about this event since it happens once every couple of years, and it only lasts for about an hour or so. Now that this is out of the way, here are some exciting facts about the super blood wolf moon.
Why the moon turns red
As the moon orbits around the Earth, so does the Earth orbit around the Sun. Usually, it takes 27 days for the moon to orbit around the Earth, while it also undergoes certain phases in a 29.5-day cycle.
Lunar eclipses only happen during a full moon, when our Sun fully illuminates the moon’s surface. A full moon typically doesn’t have any eclipse since the moon orbits in a slightly different plane than the Earth and the Sun.
However, at times the planes coincide. Earth passes in between the moon and the Sun and cuts off the sunlight, causing an eclipse. If Earth partially blocks the Sun, and the darkest part of its shadow falls across the moon’s surface, it is called a partial eclipse.
Other times the moon passes through the lighter part of Earth’s shadow, causing a penumbral eclipse. During a full eclipse, something different happens.
The moon is entirely cloaked in Earth’s shadow, but at the same time, a bit of light from Earth’s sunrises and sunsets falls on the surface of the moon. Since light waves are stretched out, they appear red. When this red light strikes the moon’s surface, it also seems red.
The redness of the moon depends on how much pollution, cloud cover, or debris there is in the atmosphere. A volcanic eruption, for example, releases particles in the atmosphere, and thus it may make the moon look darker than usual.
Super blood wolf moons are safe
Though solar eclipses are very dangerous to view directly, the light from lunar eclipses is drastically fainter, and as such, it is safe to see even without special equipment.
The next super blood wolf moon to be viewed from the UK in its entirety will occur in 2029. However, if the weather isn’t right, it might be impossible to get a good glimpse of it. Super blood moons are very rare, about 28 are expected to align this century.
Blood moon and Columbus
Many ancient cultures didn’t understand the nature of blood moons, and it often caused fear. The famous explorer Cristopher Columbus used this to his advantage in 1504.
According to an account made by Columbus’s son Ferdinand, Columbus and his crew got stranded in Jamaica. The people there were welcoming, but Columbus and his men robbed and even murdered some of them.
The natives stopped helping Columbus concerning food supplies. As time went on, Columbus knew that famine was drawing near. He had an almanac with him foretelling when the next lunar eclipse would take place.
He used this information and warned the Jamaicans that the Christian god was unhappy that they didn’t offer food for Columbus and his men, and the moon would turn red because of it as a symbol of anger.
When the natives witness the blood moon, they ran in every direction and brought supplies for Columbus and his men, asking them to intercede with their god on their behalf.
Blood moon prophecy
There are many blood moon prophecies in the Bible preached by Christian preachers John Hagee and Mark Blitz. They state that a series of four consecutive lunar eclipses that coincide with Jewish holidays with six full moons in between is the beginning of the end times.
These prechers gained a bit of mainstream media attention; however, they started losing popularity as their predictions were proven to be untrue.