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Thread: Blood Moon Eclipse 4BC

  1. #1
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    Blood Moon Eclipse 4BC

    The NASA Eclipse page provides the following diagram for a total lunar eclipse on 23 March -0004 (5 BC).

    https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/5MCLEm...004-03-23T.gif

    From Jerusalem, with totality at 11.17 pm, when did the rising moon turn blood red?

  2. #2
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    According to the gif, totality lasted 102 minutes, so started 51 minutes earlier than the time of greatest eclipse--20:26TD, then. Is that the answer you're looking for?

    ETA: But if totality is close to local midnight, the eclipsed moon should be near the meridian, rather than rising.

    Grant Hutchison
    Last edited by grant hutchison; 2020-Dec-02 at 06:42 PM.

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    Thanks Grant, I was unsure about the relationship between totality and the blood moon, which you have clarified.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Tulip View Post
    Thanks Grant, I was unsure about the relationship between totality and the blood moon, which you have clarified.
    Well, the other issue is whether the moon turned "blood red" at all. The shade varies from eclipse to eclipse, driven by atmospheric conditions on Earth. I've seen plenty of total lunar eclipses, but never one that actually looked blood red. It's another one of those terms, like blue moon, which has been plucked from its original context and pressed into service for something entirely different, by people who like fancy names for things.

    Grant Hutchison

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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Well, the other issue is whether the moon turned "blood red" at all. The shade varies from eclipse to eclipse, driven by atmospheric conditions on Earth. I've seen plenty of total lunar eclipses, but never one that actually looked blood red. It's another one of those terms, like blue moon, which has been plucked from its original context and pressed into service for something entirely different, by people who like fancy names for things.

    Grant Hutchison
    A good summary and photo of the 'blood moon' concept is at https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/blood-moon.html

    It mentions that the tetrad in 2014-15 was popularised with the blood moon concept, which comes from the Bible.

    My interest in this specific Passover eclipse viewed from Jerusalem is that it appeared 'at the foot of the woman', in the constellation of Virgo, when long tradition cited by Philo held that Passover full moons were always in Libra. This had changed due to precession of the equinoxes, and the location of totality was clear from the eclipse, making it a surprising observation. This seems a plausible basis for the 'great sign in heaven' mentioned at Rev 12:1.

    Apologies for putting 4BC in the title. It is actually 5 BC as mentioned in the OP due to the lack of a year zero in our calendar.

    Glad to confirm reading of the NASA gif as indicating that the 'blood moon' observation would have been possible through the evening in Jerusalem for two hours from 10pm.

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