Blood Moon for Farmers, Werewolves, and Us All

Update: For us here in central Iowa, the eclipse was spectacular. This CNN video report shows the action from this morning (Oct. 8). And this NASA link provides information and various videos of the event.

From werewolves to Pink Floyd to farmers in the fields, full moons have certainly had an influence, and some attribute a type of magical aura to the occasion. A special full moon is due this month, and as NASA reports:
“On Wednesday, October 8, a full lunar eclipse will start at 6:25 a.m. EDT and last until 7:24 a.m, according to NASA. Full lunar eclipses are often called blood moons because of the reddish tint they adopt as sunsets and sunrises seen from Earth reflect onto the surface of the moon. Because this eclipse will happen two days after a lunar perigee, which is the point when the moon is nearest to Earth, NASA says the moon will appear 5.3 % larger than the previous blood moon that occurred on April 15.
“This eclipse marks the second in a series of four lunar eclipses in a row, known as a tetrad. We’ll experience just eight tetrads this century, according to the Washington Post, and we won’t experience the next tetrad until around 2032 or 2033.”
The Western Hemisphere, Japan, Australia, and a few other parts of the globe will be able to view the phenomenon, and it may well be worth an early wake-up call. 
For some folks, any full moon is worth the effort. Farmers catch orange-tinted full moons rising, especially during harvest time, and occasionally the effect is so strong the early tint looks like a fire on the horizon. Throughout history, some farmers have used the moon for planting and other agricultural pursuits. A short blog entry here covers these and other moon-related issues.

Others believe a full moon can have strange influences over us–and our pets. According to this BBC article, when doctors at the Bradford Royal Infirmary in England examined two years of medical records, they found twice as many patients were admitted with dog, rat, cat, and horse bites when there was a full moon compared to when it was new. Many, however, discount the whole lunar mania effect.
A full moon changed a distraught Lon Chaney Jr. into Wolf Man decades ago, and Pink Floyd figured out how to use the dark side of the lunar orb as the basis of a monumental piece of music. But most of us will use it this week to rub the sleep from our eyes and enjoy nature’s beauty.   by dan gogerty

Top photo: Astrophotographer AJ Green shot this lunar eclipse sequence from Lake Minatare, Nebraska. Green took 11 photos over 5 hours on April 15, 2014.
Bottom photo: Photographer Sean Parker created this image of the blood moon total lunar eclipse of April 15, 2014 from Tucson, Ariz. by stitching together eight images.

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