NASA to provide live feed of blood moon; Mormon Church tells members not to panic

By @vitthernandez on
Lunar 3
The moon crosses between NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) and the sun, a phenomenon called a lunar transit, as seen in this NASA handout photo taken July 26, 2014, and released July 29, 2014. A lunar transit happens approximately twice a year, causing a partial solar eclipse that can only be seen from SDO's point of view, according to a NASA news release. Reuters/NASA

The Marshall Space Flight Center of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA, will provide a live feed of the rare lunar eclipse and blood moon on Sunday night from several locations in the US. These are from the Griffith Observatory, Adler Planetarium in Chicago, Fernbank Observatory in Atlanta and other locations in the country.

With the live feed, areas that suffer from poor weather or polluted skies would be able to observe the event which will next happen again after 30 years. The live stream starts at 8 pm and will last until 11:30 pm EDT which would be broadcast from Marshall Space in Huntsville, Alabama, according to NASA’s press release.

It would not be just staring at the skies for observers of the rare lunar event as there would also be a Q&A with Mitzi Adam, NASA solar physicist at Marshall. To ask a question, use the hashtag #askNASA at Twitter.

However, the supermoon eclipse will only be for 71 minutes, visible in North and South America, Europe, Africa and parts of West Asia and eastern Pacific. The eclipse begins to cast it into shadow, starting at 8:11 pm EDT and the total eclipse at 10:11 pm, with a peak at 10:47 pm.

During a lunar eclipse, the moon has a less bright appearance as the Earth’s shadow blocks sunlight. When sunlight indirectly reaches the moon, it is refracted around the Earth’s edges and filters out all colours, except red, giving it a reddish or dark brown hue.

NASA’s explanation of the lunar phenomenon, however, fails to convince some groups of people that the blood moon would not lead to the Apocalypse, or at least turbulent times for mankind, a Christian author warns. As a result, some members of the Mormon Church are reportedly preparing emergency packs in case the prophecies come to pass.

This situation led the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to issue a statement for members not to be carried away by their fears of an end-of-the-world scenario. The 15-million-member church has been teaching its followers to build a supply of food, water and financial resources for disasters, but the church leaders points out, “The writings and speculations of individual Church members, some of which have gained currency recently, should be considered as personal accounts or positions that do not reflect Church doctrine,” quotes AP.

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