On October 8, a new moon will be coming out, as part of a different kind of "Twilight" series.
The "blood moon," a reddish discoloration of the moon caused during a full lunar eclipse, is the second in a series of four in a lunar cycle known as a tetrad, which will occur during 2014 and 2015.
"It promises to be a stunning sight, even from the most light-polluted cities," says former NASA astrophysicist Fred Espenak.
According to the Italian Light Pollution Science and Technology Institute, most of the light pollution in the United States is concentrated between the center and the northeast, particularly in metropolitan regions such as New York, Boston and Detroit.
A lunar eclipse occurs when the earth is situated between the sun and the moon, but between 6:25 and 7:24 A.M. Wednesday, it will cast a celestial shadow known as a "penumbra," which, when paired with a particular set of circumstances, produces the unusual color. A penumbral eclipse occurs, on average, once every 34 or so years.
Most are so subtle that they are almost invisible. "The most unique thing about the 2014-2015 tetrad is that all of them are visible for all or parts of the U.S.A.," says Espenak.
The tetrad will occur eight times this century, an anomaly considering that there were none from the 17th until the 20th century, according to Espenak. The next in this series will appear on April 4, 2015, and the final one will occur on September 28, 2015. After that, the next tetrad will occur in 2032-2033.
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