A total lunar eclipse is called a tetrad by scientists. And early this morning around midnight, Sacramento saw a lunar eclipse that for a few minutes turned the moon a crimson red, then a coppery orange, then a rusty hue followed by a dark grey shadow like a cloak. From about midnight to a few minutes after, the moon began to change color. Astronomers don't call total lunar eclipses blood moons, but that's what the newspapers call it to put a spin on it and put on the drama on what is a coppery-hued total eclipse. There will be a few more total lunar eclipses. Everybody sing: "When the moon, plays a tune, like a blushing balloon, that's a tetrad."
The scientific term is a tetrad, but you won't see the scientific name in the news as much as the dramatic "blood moon" spin put on the event, great for night photography. One of the most viewed articles on the lunar eclipse is, "Moon eclipse 2014: When can you see the 'blood moon'?"
There have been 62 tetrads since the first century, Earth Sky magazine reports, according to the article, "Blood Moon to arrive Monday night. What is a Blood Moon?" There will be eight this century alone, though none occurred in the 17th, 18th, or 19th century.
The news got wind of the term "blood moon" because of the term being used by two pastors, according to the article, "Blood Moon to arrive Monday night. What is a Blood Moon?" Because of the timing, some people associate total lunar eclipses with religious events. For example, Eight of the 62 tetrads since the first century have coincided with Passover, according to Earth Sky's math.
And lo and behold, the first and the third eclipses (April 2014 and 2015) will happen on the Jewish festival of Passover, while the second and fourth (October 2014 and 2015) will happen during the Jewish Tabernacles festival. That's also because of the lunar calendar's use in certain religious holidays. For example Jewish holidays use the lunar calendar which follows the moon.
There will be coming up four blood moons that will soon appear in the skies over America are evidence of a future “world-shaking event,” a pastor comments, according to the article, "Blood Moon to arrive Monday night. What is a Blood Moon? Each publication has its own emphasis on the lunar eclipses. After all, it's planting season and the spring holiday season.
The total lunar eclipse turned the moon a reddish hue early across the nation at different times last night and could also be seen over North and South America
Here in Sacramento, the lunar eclipse could be seen around midnight. But the so-called "Blood Moon" (Copper moon?) effect peaked between the hours of 3 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. on the East coast. People could view the lunar eclipse at different times in many parts of North and South America. It also could have been called rusty moon because it looked a lot like ochre or rusty iron, or red algae or lichens.
Much of North America should be able to see a total lunar eclipse that some are calling a 'blood moon' overnight Monday. We started photographing the moon in Sacramento at 11:00 p.m. and then again from midnight to about a quarter after midnight.
Here, in Sacramento, around midnight, this author photographed the moon from the backyard as various clouds swept by. You also can go to various websites to see the lunar eclipse from different places. For example, you can check out the site, "NASA: Beautiful blood moon, when lunar eclipse comes Tuesday."
The moon's total eclipse also has been covered by various news websites from the sensational and superstitious to the realistic and scientific. Check out such websites as the USA Today site, " Is Tuesday's 'blood moon' eclipse the end of the world?" Sorry, folks, it's just the shadow of one sphere is space moving across another.
Or see, "Blood Moon to arrive Monday night. What is a Blood Moon?" Seems a lot of news has to have drama or words that stir emotions when it just as fittingly could have been called an orange moon or a crimson moon, or even a tomato moon. Then there are the religious connotations. See the NY Daily News article, "Popular televangelist claims four blood moons are sign of ‘world-shaking event’.