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Science is All Around You: “Blood Moon”

Greetchen Díaz-Muñoz's picture
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Greetchen: “José, I’m almost speechless when I see the spectacular images you have shared with us”

José: “Greetchen, I’m glad you like them.  Last month we were witnesses to the so called Red Moon (or Blood Moon).  This event is part of a tetrad of total eclipses that will go on until next year.”

Greetchen: “Beautiful picture! The moon appears red because, when our Planet lies between the Sun and the Moon, certain atmospheric particles refract sunlight in such a way that only red light passes through.  Is there any precaution one should have when watching an eclipse?”

José: “To watch this type of lunar eclipse you don’t need to worry about the types of precautions you should have when watching a solar eclipse.  Solar eclipses should not be looked at directly because they would harm our eyes.”

luna de sangre (blood moon)The blood moon's view from Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico.  Photo:José Almodóvar

Greetchen: “Tell us about your experience.  What did you most enjoy that night, watching science all around you?”

José: “I watched the eclipse from the town of Cabo Rojo.  Photographing a total lunar eclipse like this one does represent a number of challenges, because the moon looks quite dark, and it moves relatively fast.  You need special photographic equipment to capture it in detail and to keep the image in perfect focus.”

“I had never seen a total lunar eclipse.  My favorite part of the night was when I saw both, the Milky Way and the Blood Moon at the same time – something that would not be possible when there is a full moon, because the glare of the moon itself would mask the galaxy.  Still, it was a challenge, because I had to find a spot without light contamination to be able to see the Milky Way the way you see it now on the picture.  Another favorite moment of that experience was when I noticed the awe and excitement on the faces of my daughters, who accompanied me that night.” 

Vía Láctea y eclipseThe Milky Way (center) and the lunar eclipse (up right). Photo José Almodóvar.

Greetchen: “José, all that you and your daughters enjoyed that night has a scientific explanation, and I would like to share this information with our followers, through the following short video prepared by a NASA team.” 


Dr. Carlos Muñoz (RUM) contributed to the edition of this entry. I you enjoyed these images, click “Like” and share with everybody.  You may follow Greetchen (@GreetDiaz) and José (@titovolky) inn Twitter. Want to know more? Here is a related resource

Lunar eclipse of april 2014