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Fleeting Wonders: Super Blood Moon

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The super blood moon is hanging right around the corner. (Photo: Hanzlers Warped Visions/flickr)

There’s a Super Blood Moon Apocalypse right around the corner, and it’s basically sky-gazing on steroids. If you’re under 33, the evening of September 27th will be your first super blood moon, and you don’t want to miss it—the next one won’t be until 2033.

This mysterious moon brings together a mix of astronomical anomalies, the Jewish calendar, and possibly even Doomsday. Unsurprisingly, crowds of concerned folks are preparing for imminent calamity.

The moon will be at its closest orbital point to Earth (perigee), as well as in its brightest phase, so it will appear bigger and more brilliant than usual—30% brighter and 14% larger than when it’s at its farthest point (apogee), a difference of 31,000 miles. Sunlight sifting through the outer bounds of Earth’s atmosphere en route to the moon will cast that signature gory glow, making it both a blood moon and a super moon.

A blood moon lunar eclipse

A super blood moon eclipse—time to buy survival supplies. (Photo: NASA/Lauren Harnett/Wikimedia Commons)

This will be the fourth lunar eclipse in only two years, and, like the previous three, it will be falling on a Jewish holy day (in many parts of the world, but not the U.S., which is in a different timezone). This curious circumstance is known as a tetrad, and has occurred seven times since the birth of Jesus. 

This Blood Moon Prophesy was invented by two Christian ministers, Mark Biltz and John Hagee, who say that this bloody supermoon signals a downward spiral into dark times. Biltz and Hagee have been spending some of their limited remaining time on Earth in a tiff about who had the revelation first.

An omen of The End, some would say. (Photo: Jonathan Leung/flickr)

It turns out that Mormons are equally distraught; many are worried that an earthquake or military invasion will hit Utah upon the moon’s rise. They have been stockpiling food in anticipation of the event, and survival supplies are flying off shelves.

Some people, of course, are just excited about the epic skygazing on offer. The super blood moon, hanging like a juicy, foreboding persimmon in the night sky, will be up there for just one short hour on Sunday, September 27th at 9:11 p.m. EST (or September 28th at 2:11 a.m. GMT), visible from the Americas, Europe, Africa, west Asia and the east Pacific. 

And who knows? It might be the last moon you ever see.

Every day, we track down a fleeting wonder—something amazing that’s only happening right now. Have a tip for us? Tell us about it! Send your temporary miracles to cara@atlasobscura.com.