October is a spooky month, and full moons, shall we say, carry some baggage in superstitious circles. The lunar rumor mill continues to churn as we approach the next full moon, also referred to as a Harvest Moon, which is happening on Thursday evening. People on the internet seem to think this full moon is a Blood Moon, but it’s not. We try to keep our lunar calendar straight here at Inverse, and so we offer up some clarification from an article by Neel Patel.
What follows are snippets from the aforementioned article published on September 15, 2015, which so happens to be the last time we actually experienced a “Blood Moon.” It’s also worth noting that conspiracy theorists were fairly certain that this particular blood moon was an indication that the world would end on September 28, 2015. Spoiler: It did not.
Why Is It Called a Blood Moon?
A blood moon is simply the result of a Supermoon — where a full moon or new moon occurs as the little rock makes its approach to the Earth — and a total lunar eclipse — when the sun, Earth, and moon are aligned and cause the Earth to cast a shadow on the moon — happening at the same time. It’s actually called a Supermoon Lunar Eclipse.
A lunar eclipse sometimes causes the moon to appear red. Why? It’s simple: The amount of light refracted depends on the amount of dust or clouds currently in the atmosphere. A dusty atmosphere will cause other wavelengths of light to be scattered and disappear — thus causing the moon to glow red. So if a Supermoon is happening at the same time as a lunar eclipse, chances are you’re going to see a really freaking big red dot hanging around in the night sky. NASA scientists say the Supermoon lunar eclipse will be visible in North and South America on the 27th, while those in Europe and Africa will be able to see it in the early morning on the 28th [of 2015].
When Was the Last Super Blood Moon?
The last supermoon lunar eclipse [not counting the one in September of 2015] occurred in 1982.
When’s the Next Super Blood Moon?
The next one will be in 2033.
Everyone who’s even a little bit frightened should take a deep breath and relax. Life will go on after September 28 [Editor’s note: This was, in fact, true]. At least it had better — the Oculus Rift doesn’t come out until next year and I’m dying to buy one and finally get away from the real world and spend my days playing around in a virtual one [Editor’s note: The writer did not, in fact, purchase an Oculus Rift].
If you’d like to learn more about the Biblical conspiracies around this lunar event, check out the original article.