Sumera B. Reshi
The sky looked calm with some clouds here and there. The air was cooler than usual in the UAE and I was curious to see a big red hot moon on January 31st. I had heard but never before witnessed the rare phenomenon which was going to happen in the celestial space. Three events were going to take place in the vast celestial space and these were the Blue moon, Supermoon and a total lunar eclipse. In the past, such a phenomenon took place in the year 1866 and was visible in North America.
A blue moon, super moon and a lunar eclipse fell on the same night i.e. January 31st after over 150 years. Such a phenomenon is not uncommon but it is rare for all the three events to occur at the same time. Last time the phenomenon occurred at the same time on 31st March 1866 for North America.
These rare events took place on December 30, 1982, but only for the Eastern Hemisphere. And because of the varied time zones, the full moon wasn’t considered a blue moon for North America as the previous full moon occurred at the end of November 30 and not early on December 1st.
For the most of the night, the moon appeared in its normal color, however, during the last phase of the night on 31st January 2018, the moon emerged a rusty orange or red color as it phases into the Earth’s shadow. According to AccuWeather Astronomy Blogger, Dave Samuhel, this year’s celestial event will be the first lunar eclipse since 2015. During a total lunar eclipse, the moon passes through the darkest part of the Earth’s shadow. Usually, a total solar eclipse lasts only minutes; this will last for several hours.
Be it a solar or lunar eclipse people often go loopy about its impact. And like an old wives’ tale that rare lunar events can impact our emotions and encourage mood swings. However, some claim they’ve been feeling weird leading up to tonight’s super blood moon eclipse. Social media was abuzz with astrologer’s views and comments on the impact of this rare celestial phenomenon on all the 12 zodiacs.
Nevertheless, credible scientists or medical professionals negate any impact of the events taking place in the celestial sphere. Space experts say that there is absolutely zero scientific evidence that the moon can impact our emotions & mood. In a write up for ABC news, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki (Scientist) said that a survey conducted in the USA found that about 40 per cent of the general population, and 80 per cent of mental health professionals, believe that the phase of the moon affects human behaviour.
“And yet, 99 per cent of the evidence says that the moon has no effect on human behaviour,” he added.
In an interview with nine.com.au, Professor Alan Duffy, who is an astronomer said people are often looking for a logical solution to illogical emotions. “It’s confirmation bias when the full moon is up we are looking for strange behaviour or remember that we saw strange behaviour,” he said.
“I’m sad to say there’s as much strange behaviour on any given night as there is on a full moon.”
Even though the glittering orb in the night-sky won’t turn anyone into a werewolf, as it was once believed, however, it is capable of affecting one’s sleep. The full moon has long been suspected to influence sleep cycles, among other human behavioral changes, but until recently this was unproven. While most previous research discovered some link between sleep and the moon cycles, the most recent and conclusive study, the 2013 Cajochen study, found “full moons were associated with longer times to fall asleep, reduced sleep efficiency, and less overall sleep time.”
Taking the most compelling of the data surrounding the lunar connection into account, the Cajochen study discovered the link after studying the sleep cycles of 33 adults for three years.
According to the study, sleep disruptions peaked at the full moon, with “melatonin levels dropping during the days surrounding the full moon and subjects reporting feeling less refreshed the next day,” and “overall sleep time dropping to their lowest levels – an average of 20 minutes less sleep – on nights with a full moon.”
Nonetheless, the findings proved that there is, in fact, a link between sleep and the moon, why this connection exists – and how, remains shrouded in mystery. To completely understand the power of the moon on humans and human behaviour, one must consider what a full moon does.
The possible answer to this intricate question is here. The moon becomes a full moon when its positioning is most fully “illuminated by the sun from the perspective of the observer on Earth,” according to National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA).
Furthermore, according to Jessica Booth’s article in the bustle.com, six zodiacs will have an impact on the blue super moon total lunar eclipse. These zodiac signs are Taurus, Gemini, Leo, Virgo, Scorpio and Aquarius. For some zodiacs, this celestial will bring respite and for some, it could lead to possible nagging periods.
If the impact is to be believed, then we expect that this celestial event could bring peace and prosperity across the globe so that humanity can live to witness far rarer phenomenon going on in the outer space. Also, let us expect reality over myth in coming years.