‘Blood moon’ to rise Monday night

Posted at 7:01 PM, Apr 14, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-14 21:01:56-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- There are several scriptures in the Bible that say “the moon will turn a blood red before the Second Coming of Christ.”

A "blood moon" will rise Monday night -- but there's a scientific explanation behind it.

The lunar eclipse will be the first of four "blood moons" to grace the skies over the next 18 months. A lunar eclipse happens when the moon passes through the shadow of the earth.

“The moon is going through earth's shadow. We tend not to think objects in space casing shadows, maybe we occasionally remember that the moon's shadow as it goes across the earth is a solar eclipse, well in this case it is the opposite,” said Seth Jarvis, director of the Clark Planetarium. “This time it's the earth shadow falling on the moon.”

The reason it's red is because all sunlight is being block by the earth, except the light you would see at sunrise and sunset. That red light bounces off the moon and back at the earth for everyone to see.

The lunar eclipse will begin around midnight Monday and last for several hours.
“It will turn gray, and then over the period of like an hour it will turn dark red or orange red, and then it will start lightening up and then by about 4 a.m. it will be over. And if you slept through the whole thing you would never have known anything happened,” Jarvis said.

As long as it's not cloudy, Utah should have a great view of the event.

“We've been watching the weather forecast -- it was iffy there for a while. So keep your fingers crossed and hopefully we will be able to see it tonight,” said amateur astronomer Ann House.

The Salt Lake Astronomical Society plans to host two watch parties tonight one at the Super Walmart parking lot on Quarry Boulevard in Sandy and another one at Stansbury Park.