First Blood Moon of 2022: What is it and why ancient civilisations feared it

Written By: Moohita Kaur Garg
New Delhi, India Updated: May 12, 2022, 04:19 PM(IST)

Some ancient tribes were perplexed as to why the moon turned red, frightening them. Ancient civilisations would actually undertake rituals to prevent the blood moon's "evil influence". Photograph:( Others )

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Its name is because of its reddish glow. It occurs during a total lunar eclipse and the red colour is generated by the sun's light passing through the Earth's shadow

Earth will soon witness a 'Blood Moon'. From parts of Antarctica, the Americas, as well as western Europe, Africa and parts of the eastern Pacific, the eclipse will be visible late May 15th and early May 16th.

This is the first Blood Moon of 2022 and the astronomical event is happening after almost a year. The last one was on 25-26 May 2021.

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Do you know what is a Blood Moon?

Its name is because of its reddish glow. It occurs during a total lunar eclipse and the red colour is generated by the sun's light passing through the Earth's shadow.

During it the Earth blocks the moon's view of the sun, i.e., the Earth is positioned between the Moon and the Sun.

blood moon

The Moon can also appear crimson in the sky due to dust, smoke, or haze, the amount of pollution, cloud cover, and debris in the atmosphere. If an eclipse occurs soon after a volcanic eruption, for example, the particles in the atmosphere will cause the moon to appear darker than usual.

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It might also be one of the fall full moons when the leaves are turning red. A full moon in the month of May is also called a Flower Moon. Other names for it include the Hare Moon, the Planting Moon, and the Milk Moon.

Do you know that this phenomenon was both feared and worshipped by the ancient people?

blood moon

Some ancient tribes were perplexed as to why the moon turned red, frightening them. Ancient civilisations would actually undertake rituals to prevent the blood moon's "evil influence".

Spanish colonist stories tell of the Inca and their belief that a heavenly jaguar was attacking and attempting to eat the moon. To stop this from happening, they would shake their spears, making a ruckus to scare the jaguar away.

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In ancient Mesopotamia, this was thought to be an indication of an upcoming cosmic attack on the King. To save their king they would then appoint a surrogate king.

Other legends tell of some tribes believing that the sun and moon are in a quarrel and trying to resolve their differences, while others thought the moon was sick and sang chants to heal it.

You can watch the phenomenon Live online. For information on how to see the super blood moon, follow the link below:

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