|"And the sun became black as sackcloth and the full moon turned red as blood," Revelations 6:12|
A rare eclipse of the moon early on Saturday turned Earth's celestial satellite an eerie shade of blood red, reminding many of an oft-quoted bible passage from the Apocalyptic Revelations: "I watched as the Lamb broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake. The sun became as dark as black cloth, and the moon became as red as blood." Revelations 6:12
The eclipse was visible to large portions of the world, including most of North America as well as Europe and Asia.
A lunar eclipse happens when the Earth blocks the sun’s light from reflecting off the moon, casting a eerie shadow over its surface. During a total lunar eclipse, the moon is completely obscured from view. Saturday morning’s event was the last total lunar eclipse until 2014, but it’s the second of 2011. Another total eclipse was visible from parts of Europe, Africa, Australia and southern Asia in June.
The year 2012 will hold another rare celestial event, the Transit of Venus, which will take place in June of next year. A transit of Venus occurs when Venus passes directly between the sun and earth. This alignment is rare, coming in pairs that are eight years apart but separated by over a century. The most recent transit of Venus was a thrilling sight in 2004. After the June 2012 transit of Venus (the last one in your lifetime), the next such alignment occurs in 2117.
The pivotal year of 2012 is also the much-discussed end of the Mayan long-count calendar.