Total eclipse of the moon kicks off month of astronomical marvels



Photographed from Brazil, the captured images show in BRST time an hourly comparison of the last total lunar eclipse in December of 2010.

2014-2015 is full of interesting astronomical events, including an abundance of meteor showers and a series of four lunar eclipses known as a tetrad, which will begin this evening with a total lunar eclipse. Visibility will be at about 11 P.M. PST when the moon moves into the earth’s shadow, creating what is known as a “blood moon.”

Eclipses of this kind do not happen regularly. This will mark the first total lunar eclipse since 2010 and another is not predicted to take place until 2018. Even though this eclipse is the beginning of a lunar tetrad, those following will not be total lunar eclipses or blood moons.

While a red moon is somewhat a strange and unsettling sight, many traditions and religions have assorted beliefs about the significance of the phenomenon. Even so, it is perfectly natural for the moon to turn red when in the earth’s shadow due to light from the earth’s sunrises and sunsets. It will remain visible to most of the Western hemisphere for over three hours, according to NASA.

Wednesday night will be partly cloudy in San Bruno, making for less than ideal viewing conditions. However, the eclipse will be visible directly over the Transamerica pyramid near Osgood Place in San Francisco and at the top of the Sutro tower from the corner of Stanyan St .and Belgrave Ave.


Update: this article headline has been edited to replace “astrological ” with “astronomical”. 8:23 .p.m. 4/14/2014