The January Full Moon will turn blood-red in the morning hours of Monday, January 21, around 5am GMT. The so-called Blood Moon is the result of refracted sunlight turning the Earth’s shadow red during the eclipse. Conspiracy theorists, however, believe the Blood Moon is a much more sinister occurrence than most are aware of. Christian conspiracists and doomsday preachers, for instance, claim the Blood Moon is a biblical warning sign of the apocalypse.
According to the so-called Blood Moon Prophecy introduced by preachers John Hagee and Mark Biltz, a tetrad off four consecutive Blood Moons would usher in chaos and destruction.
The 2014 prophecy was pulled from the New Testament’s Book of Revelation where the Moon is said to turn into blood in the end days.
Revelation 6:12-14 reads: “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;
“And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
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“And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.”
The Son of Man is coming soon
The first of these four Blood Moons peaked on April 15, 2014, followed by three more eclipses on October 8 in 2014, April 4 in 2015 and September 28 in 2015.
Unsurprisingly, the biblical apocalypse did not start after the last Blood Moon and Jesus Christ did not yet return to Earth.
There are, however, Christian preachers who still believe the prophecy will come true in the near future.
Paul Begley, an evangelical preacher from West Lafayette in Indiana, in one of the main supporters of the Blood Moon conspiracy.
According to pastor Begley, the Blood Moon will peak on the second anniversary of US President Donald Trump being inaugurated into office.
This coincidence, paired with the fact the Blood Moon will feature predominately over America, is a supposed sign of the Second Coming of Christ.
Pastor Begley said: “We’re seeing all kinds of things and then the Bible says you need to look up and lift your head, your redemption draweth nigh. The Son of Man is coming soon.
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“So, don’t blame me. I’m just telling you what it said.
“We don’t know the day, we don’t know the hour, we don’t know the year Christ is coming back. But we can see the day approaching.”
On the day of the lunar eclipse, the Full Moon will enter the darkest portion of the Earth’s shadow, known as the umbra.
In the umbra, the Moon will briefly vanish from sight and reappear glowing a deep red colour.
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The effect is caused by the refraction of sunlight in the Earth’s dusty atmosphere, which filters out all but the red wavelengths of light on the visible spectrum.
US space agency NASA explained: “This happens for the exact same reason that our sunrises and sunsets here on Earth are brilliant shades of pinks and oranges.
“During a lunar eclipse, the only light reaching the Moon passes through the Earth’s atmosphere.
“The bluer, shorter wavelength light scatters and the longer wavelength red light passes through and makes it to the Moon.”