Maui Sky Watchers Witness “Blood Red” Moon
By Wendy Osher
Sky watchers on Maui were treated to the second and final lunar eclipse of the year overnight.
True to its “Blood Red” reference, the moon appeared reddened by the atmosphere.
(***The photo at left was captured by Maui Photographer Paul Karanik of Karanik Photography).
The phenomenon was scheduled to start shortly after 10 p.m. HST last night, and concluded at around 2:30 a.m. today.
According to NASA, the eclipse occurred on the Moon’s descent, and appeared 5.3% larger than it did during the last lunar eclipse on April 15th.
The eclipse appeared as the moon moved into the shadows of the earth, with atmospheric conditions creating a darkened or reddish black hue.
Scientists with the Bishop Museum’s J. Watumull Planetarium noted that good viewing occurred in the western half of the continental US, as well as Japan, eastern Australia, and all of Polynesia, including New Zealand.
The planetarium reports that the next celestial event of significance is a partial solar eclipse on October 23, which will not be visible from the Hawaiian Islands.
Also coming up is the start of the Makahiki season on Nov. 24, 2014. Makahiki marks the start of a new year in Hawaiʻi, and occurs when the Pleiades or “Seven Sisters” star cluster rises, and a crescent moon emerges. The season was celebrated in ancient times with several months of sporting activities, religious festivities, and a ban on war.