Blood Moon 2014 Dates; Plus Why Does The Moon Turn Red?

Blood-Moon-2014
Blood Moon is coming soon to the sky near you! Learn more about the lunar eclipse. Shutterstock/Beth Swanson

The moon is going to have a new look soon in an astronomical event where it will turn orange. Called the "blood moon," the normally white moon will boast shades of red for select nights. According to NASA, the blood moon takes place on a total lunar eclipse when the moon passes through the Earth's shadow, which has shades of red. 

“It's a projection of all the Earth's sunsets and sunrises onto the moon," said Noah Petro, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter deputy project scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, in a statement. "It's a very subtle effect, and if any part of the moon is illuminated in the sun, you can't really see it."

In the upcoming year and a half, there are estimated to be four blood moons. In North America, the blood moon will be seen on the following dates: April 15, 2014; October 8, 2014; April 4, 2015, and September 28, 2015. And while these dates make it clear that viewers have plenty of opportunities to see the moon change color, this occurrence is more rare than you'd think since before the 20th century, there were no blood moons for 300 years. 

Those living in North and South America will be fortunate enough to see the entire eclipse, as those living in Europe and Africa won't be seeing much of the red moon. Daily Mail reports that the blood moon will mark "the first time in 778 days, Mars, Earth and the sun aligned in an 'opposition of the planets.'"

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