It took more than 30 years to witness a supermoon in combination with a total lunar eclipse. And what a sight it was! Occurring after 1982, with no chance of a repeat performance until 2033, this unique visual treat struck stargazers with awe, making sure many stayed awake to imprint this experience in memory—both human and technological.
The “blood moon,” derives its name from the reddish hue the moon takes as earth’s shadow passes over it. Earthlings who missed out on this dramatic show will have to wait almost two decades for their chance to catch another supermoon eclipse, as NASA is predicting the next such event in 2033.
During a total eclipse, the earth blocks nearly all direct sunlight from reaching the moon. A supermoon makes the moon seem bigger and brighter in the night sky. It appears when the moon is in its full phase and the orbit brings it closer to Earth than usual.
Some traditions regard the viewing of eclipses as a bad omen. Several rituals in India involve bathing afterwards and not eating during the eclipse. Special care is attributed to pregnant women who are strongly advised to stay indoors and not view the eclipse in any way to ward off evil impact to the unborn baby.
Whatever your take on this celestial extravaganza, a sight like the blood moon is definitely a time to revere the almighty for bestowing upon us an ever-changing canvas of natural aura.
Vinita Kinra is a Toronto-based author, editor, speaker and activist, best known for her short story collection, Pavitra in Paris, launched to critical acclaim in 2013. She is also a contributor for India’s largest English daily, The Times of India.