LONDON – For the first time in three decades, a rare astronomical phenomenon is to happen this week when a lunar eclipse will coincide with supermoon, prompting fears of apocalypse among some Christian churches.
“It will be quite exciting and especially dramatic,” predicted astronomer Sam Lindsay of the Royal Astronomical Society in London, Agence France Presse (AFP) reported on Sunday, September 27.
“It’ll be brighter than usual, bigger than usual.”
Expected to appear Sunday’s night, the celestial events will be a result of earth and a larger-than-life, extra-bright moon lining up for just over an hour.
It will be visible from the Americas, Europe, Africa, West Asia and the east Pacific at 0211 GMT.
Being at its closest orbital point to Earth, which is called perigee, the moon will be in its brightest phase.
Due to the atmosphere of the earth, that will filter light creeping around it, a red light will create the “blood moon.”
Last April, total eclipse of the moon was visible across the Pacific and parts of North and South America.
The total eclipse lasted only for four minutes and 43 seconds, and NASA says that makes it the shortest one of the century.
A lunar eclipse happens when the sun, Earth and moon form a straight line in space, with the Earth smack in the middle.
During a total lunar eclipse, the Earth passes between the Moon and Sun and the Moon passes into the darkest part of the Earth’s shadow. But the Moon doesn’t completely go dark.
The sun shines on the Earth and creates a shadow. As the moon moves deeper into that shadow, it appears to turn dark and may even appear to be a reddish color.
That’s because the Sun’s light is refracted and scattered forward through our atmosphere and onto the Moon’s surface.
Red light scatters least, so the Moon often takes on a striking dull red or copper color during totality. In a sense, all the Earth’s sunsets are scattered onto the face of the Full Moon.
The fourth eclipse in less than two years has sparked fears and predictions of the end of the world by a Mormon author.
Citing recent natural disasters, political unrest and the blood moon, Mormon author Julie Rowe predicted the end of time, leading to a rise in sales at emergency-preparedness retailers.
“It is simply part of my personal journey that I have chosen to share in hopes that it can help people to prepare for the times we live in by increasing their faith in Christ and by looking to our Prophet and Church leaders for guidance,” she wrote on her website September 10, USA Today reported.
“That time has come,” she added.
Amid widespread fear of an impending apocalypse, the Mormon Church issued statement distancing itself from the prediction by the Mormon author.
The last three eclipses occurred on April 15 and October 8, 2014, and April 4, 2015.
For Muslims, lunar and solar eclipses are definite signs of the power and mighty of God. Cosmetic events and natural phenomena have scientific reasons that people may know by means of scientific research and study.
Muslims, however, don’t connect such events to the life, birth, death, or return of anybody.
In the Noble Qur’an, Jesus is called “Isa”. He is also known as Al-Masih (the Christ) and Ibn Maryam (Son of Mary).
As for his crucifixion, Muslims believe that Jesus was not crucified but was lifted up to heaven.
Muslims believe that Jesus will come back to earth before the end of time to restore peace and order, fight the Anti-Christ (Al-Masih Al-Dajjal) and bring victory for truth and righteousness.
The true followers of Jesus will prevail over those who deny him, misrepresent him and reject him.
So, Muslims believe that Jesus will descend and his return will be “a sign of the approaching Day of Judgment”. However, Muslims don’t link solar or lunar eclipses to the second coming of Jesus (peace be on him).