Lunar Lies! American Headlines Are Leaving Out One Vital Fact About Tonight's Blood Moon... And It Won't Please You

Friday, 27 July 2018 - 10:51AM
Astronomy
Moon
Science News
Friday, 27 July 2018 - 10:51AM
Lunar Lies! American Headlines Are Leaving Out One Vital Fact About Tonight's Blood Moon... And It Won't Please You
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Image Credit: Pixabay Composite
It's the top-trending story on Google News' science section and it's making the rounds in headlines across the world. We're talking, of course, about tonight's lunar eclipse, which will be the longest of the 21st century. The coverage is vast and varied, with flavors ranging from mundane to morbid: there's an eclipse for every taste. FOX News promises "What You Need To Know" in their top headline, while also offering an enticing look into the "dark and ominous history" of so-called "blood moons." Bustle, arguably occupying the other end of the media spectrum, opts for the perennially popular pseudo-scientific/astrology route with a listicle entitled "8 Big Decisions The July 2018 Blood Moon Will Make More Difficult To Consider" that threatens to make traditional clickbait great again. In fairness, however, that's almost a laudable headline compared to their additional coverage, which, we take some schadenfreude in noting covers – and we're not kidding – "11 Meditations To Help You Destress During The July 2018 Blood Moon."  Apparently, that's a thing. (Or it is now?)


Image credit: screen shot of Google News

Despite the ballyhoo about blood moons, the end of the world, and astrological jibber-jabber, out of over 100 – which is the point at which we stopped counting – headlines offering coverage of one kind of another about tonight's astronomical event, we only found four media outlets – Yahoo, Staten Island Live (?!), TIME, and Newser – that mention what may very well be one of the most important facts about the lunar eclipse, at least for American stargazers in their headlines....

If you live anywhere in the United States or North America – except for one place in Newfoundland – you will not be able to see the eclipse.


Image credit: NASA/JPL/Public Domain

National Geographic – whose headline also left out that fact – breaks it down: 

Opening quote
North Americans will mostly miss out on this lunar eclipse, as the moon will not have risen yet. But the lunar display can be observed in its partial phases rising over South America, western Africa, and Europe and setting over Eastern Asia and Australia. The entire eclipse will be visible from eastern Africa and central Asia.
Closing quote


So there's that. Live in California? Sorry, no lunar eclipse for you. Planning on smoking weed and watching the blood moon from Denver, Colorado? Get ready for stoned disappointment. Having a small gathering of amateur astronomers in Long Island this evening to feast your eyes upon this once-in-a-lifetime event? Put away the good sherry: you'll be staring at the blank and moonless summer sky when it's happening. No moon for you!

via GIPHY

Your best bet for watching the one hour and forty-three-minute lunar glory without staring at Instagram all night or grabbing a flight to South Africa? NASA Live. 

Meanwhile, you can think of this as our apology for eclipsing your blood moon dreams. 

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