The Blood Moon prophecy purports to reveal hidden messages in the Christian Bible about the end times approaching.
Next month on July 27 the Blood Moon will peak in the night skies during the July total lunar eclipse.
The astronomical event marks the second total lunar eclipse and Blood Moon of the year.The last Blood Moon appeared in the skies on January 31 during the rare Super Blue Blood Moon spectacle.
Some Christian conspiracy theorists who keenly watched the moon travel across the night sky claimed the Blood Moon prophecy was being fulfilled.
The apocalyptic prophecy itself can be traced back to Christian ministers John Hagee and Mark Biltz who claimed to have found references of a blood moon tetrad in the Bible.
A tetrad is a series of four consecutive lunar eclipses which supposedly began in the year 2014.
The first eclipse in the prophesied tetrad took place on April 15, 2014, and was followed by Blood Moons on October 8, 2014, April 4, 2015 and September 28, 2015.
According to the Endtime Ministries, a Christian group preaching the end times gospel, a number of prophecies in the Bible predict the moon will turn blood red at the end of the world.
For instance, Joel 2:30-31 states: “And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.
“The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.”
The Book of Revelations also states 6:12 the moon will turn red: “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood.”
Irvin Baxter, president of the Endtime Ministeries, said: “The Bible teaches that end event is coming just ahead of us now and that will be the greatest prophetic fulfilment in the last 2,000 years.
“I’m talking greater than the rebirth of the nation of Israel. Greater than the reunification of Jerusalem.”
But for most people in the scientific community the Blood Moon prophecy is unsubstantiated bunkum.
Geoffrey Gaherty, a writer for Starry Night Education, said he was saddened by conspiracy theories latching onto stellar spectacles like the eclipse.
He said: “As an ardent skywatcher who derives much pleasure from beautiful events like lunar eclipses, it saddens me that there are ‘prophets of doom’ in the world who view these life-enriching events as portents of disaster.”
And there is no reason to believe the Blood Moon is a sign from the heavens because scientists understand very well the mechanics behind why the moon turns red during an eclipse.
The effect is known as Rayleigh scattering and the phenomenon is responsible for painting the skies blue and sunsets red.
During aneclipsethe moon will pass directly behind the sun and Earth to hide in the planet’s shadow.
But instead of completely vanishing, certain bands of red sunlight will paint the moon a deep copper-like red hue.
This happens because sunlight bending around the planet scatters in the atmosphere and filters out colours of various wavelengths.
Red is least affected by the scattering which in turns makes the moon change colour.