Here’s some good news for you to start your Tuesday morning. You might be stuck at work in nearly 30 degrees of heat, but at least you won’t have to put up with all of this for too long.
I don’t mean that the temperatures are going to back off and it’s going to be the weekend. Of course, I mean that some people are predicting that the world is going to come to an end! Again.
Yes, despite being wrong on every single occasion so far – and there have been many – certain end-of-days religious type folk think that the coming of a ‘blood red’ moon at the end of next month, accompanied by a long lunar eclipse, will bring about the apocalypse.
Whether or not the world ends (SPOILER: it won’t) it promises to be quite impressive either way.
On 27 July, the 21st Century’s longest lunar eclipse will take place, lasting nearly two whole hours and featuring a long period when the moon will go bright red and glow in the sky.
This is, obviously, great news for astronomers, but bad news for those who sit around their house trying to make predictions about when the earth is going to be destroyed.
So, how do they work out that Armageddon is imminent? Well, the theory was originally devised by two Christian ministers called John Hagee and (impeccably named) Mark Blitz.
Those two theorised that an ongoing ‘tetrad’, which is a series of four lunar eclipses, occurring around Jewish holidays, with six full moons in-between, signals the beginning of the end times – as per the description in the Book of Revelations and the Book of Acts in the Bible.
What they’ve failed to deal with is that the ‘tetrad’ that they are on about actually ended back at the end of September 2015 and I swear I haven’t even spotted one single horseman of the apocalypse.
They reckon that some sort of catastrophic event will come along and destroy us. Well, if they’re right, we’ll all feel really, really silly when it does, won’t we?
In the meantime, before we’re all incinerated/drowned/crushed by a giant asteroid, you’d do well to be outside or near a telescope for events in the sky that night. A blood moon doesn’t come along every day, and it’s beautiful.
Its distinctive colour comes from the scattering of light in the earth’s atmosphere. It’s similar to what causes the sky to turn red at sunset.