Moon watchers and night owls have a treat coming in the early hours of tomorrow: a blood moon!
The creepily-named phenomenon is actually just a total lunar eclipse. The earth's shadow will block the sun's light from the moon. At the same time, light from sunrises and sunsets on the planet is reflected on the moon, causing it to turn an orange or even blood red color.
If you want to check it out, look up at around 1:58 a.m. ET this morning. At 3:07 a.m., the moon should be completely in shadow for about an hour and a half. It'll be visible to pretty much the entire lower 48 states as long as there are clear skies. If you're unfortunate enough to live somewhere cloudy, you can still hang out with NASA in a live web chat during the eclipse.
If you miss it tomorrow morning, don't worry! There will be four blood moons -- a blood moon tetrad! -- over the next year and a half (lunar eclipses occur about every six months). The last blood moon tetrad was in 1967 (though the last blood moon was a much more recent event: 2011). The rarity of the event and the fact that it falls on the first day of Passover has caused some people to believe that we're heading into the end of days or at least "something is about to change" (find out more for just $14 per paperback book or $399.99 for a set of 36 books. It might be the end times, but that doesn't mean Pastor John Hagee should stop trying to make a buck!).
Based on a quick survey of past blood moon tetrads and whether or not the world ended during them (it didn't, not even once), The Wire feels confident in saying that everything is going to be just fine.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.