Tuesday's celestial event - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

'Blood Moon'

Tuesday's celestial event

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When asked if excited about Tuesday morning’s lunar eclipse, Professor Terry Richardson says he is not waking up for the celestial event. Normally students would have a viewing party at the observatory but with all the cloud cover nothing was scheduled for April 15.

"They're more disappointed since the forecast looks bad,” said Richardson about his astronomy students that would normally be among the sky watchers.

Richardson was right. The weather didn’t really permit the sight of a spectacular moon seen in other parts of the U.S. The eclipse was visible in North and Latin America and parts of Hawaii.

“Just a little bit before 2 o'clock the edge of the moon will look a little gray or a little dark as the moon approaches the dark central shadow we call the umbra,” said Richardson.

And this lunar eclipse was a long one.

“It takes an hour to move into the umbra. The moon moves in the sky at its own apparent diameter once an hour,” said Richardson.

Once the moon enters the earth’s shadow the light from the sun is reflected and the moon turns a red-orange color.

"Eclipses vary and so astronomers have never called this the ‘blood moon.’

The celestial event is being called a “Blood Moon” because the moon will turn a blood red color. However, there are religious leader that believe the series of four total lunar eclipses signals a change of times.

“This is the first eclipse season in which we'll have a total lunar eclipse and it just so happens the way the cycles work out the next three eclipse seasons will also have a total lunar eclipse,” said Richardson.

According to a NASA scientist, the next Blood Moon will be on October 4.

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