(KRON/CNN) — “Blood moon” is a term to describe a lunar eclipse, but the celestial event scheduled to dominate the night sky later this month has religious believers issuing “prophecies” predicting it’s a sign of the end of the world.
“Blood moon” simply refers to the copper color the moon takes on during an eclipse. And the lunar eclipse on the night of September 27-28 will be the final eclipse in a tetrad. A tetrad is four consecutive total lunar eclipses, each separated by six lunar months. The first three in the series took place April 15, 2014; October 8, 2014; and April 4, 2015.
Some religious leaders say this month’s “blood moon” fulfills biblical prophecy of the apocalypse.
In promotion for his 2013 book “Four Blood Moons,” Christian minister John Hagee claimed that the tetrad was a sign of the end.
“The coming four blood moons points to a world-shaking event that will happen between April 2014 and October 2015,” he said.
Hagee’s assertion has been debunked by scientists and skeptics.
The astronomical site EarthSky.org points out that tetrads follow natural cycles and are easily calculated.
They’re also not particularly rare. There will be eight such tetrads in the 21st century. And since the first century, there have been 62. The only thing unique about this September’s “blood moon” is that it’s the final event of the first tetrad of this century.
Nevertheless, the upcoming “blood moon” has many taking to social media with end of the world discussions.
After this month’s lunar eclipse, the next tetrad isn’t due until 2032.