'Blood Moon' attracts stargazers, conspiracy theories
Stargazers and fans of eerie, prophetic-like omens will be in for a treat early Tuesday morning when a total lunar eclipse will occur, turning the full moon red.
Also called "blood moons", total lunar eclipses happen about twice a year when the moon passes directly behind the Earth into its shadow, or umbra.
But what's up with the creepy red glow that gives the lunar event its nickname?
Well, the red color is actually not unlike a sunset but from the moon's perspective. NASA describes it as "seeing every sunrise and every sunset in the world, all of them, all at once." And that red glow from behind the Earth gets projected onto the moon.
CNN notes this total lunar eclipse will be the first in a series of four appearing every six months, a phenomenon called a "tetrad" – something not particularly rare for this century, according to NASA eclipse expert Fred Espenak.
While a total lunar eclipse is an interesting sight for stargazing hobbyists, for others the oncoming blood moon and tetrad brings something else – tidings of doom.
CTV News writes that "Conspiracy websites draw parallels between lunar eclipses and historical events, like the fall of Constantinople and the founding of the State of Israel."
But perhaps the biggest proponent for any conspiracy concerning the upcoming blood moons is Pastor John Hagee, who wrote the book 'Four Blood Moons: Something Is About to Change in 2013.'
In an interview with Fox News, Hagee emphasized the significance that each blood moon will occur during a Jewish holiday.
"To have a blood moon, and then for those blood moons to be on this exact date, is something that just is beyond coincidental," he said.
The next three blood moons will be viewable this year on Oct. 8 followed by April 4 and Sept. 28 next year.