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Local Astronomer Explains The “Blood Moon”

By Molly Daly

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Much is being made of what’s being called “the Blood Moon,” tonight’s total lunar eclipse.

A local astronomer explains what the fuss is all about.

“The idea of identifying this one as a blood red moon and setting it apart as being special from others really isn’t necessary, because almost all deep lunar eclipses will have the same kind of coloration as others might.”

Franklin Institute Chief Astronomer Derrick Pitts says the color we’d see, if we could stay up until 2 a.m. and the sky were clear, is easily explained.

“The red comes from light refracted from the earth’s atmosphere, since it’s the earth that blocks light from the sun from reaching the moon to create the eclipse in the first place.”

If we’re going by the names Native Americans used for seasonal moons, this would be the Pink Moon, which doesn’t sound at all ominous.

“I think the term “blood” just happens to be very provocative.”

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