So far, the skies above South Dakota are forecast to be party cloudy so we should be able to catch a glimpse of the lunar eclipse before the sun comes up Tuesday morning. Monday night's eclipse, or 'Blood Moon', will begin just before midnight, April 14th, and conclude in the early morning hours of the 15th with the best viewing time to be between 1a.m. and 3a.m. The reddest (or bloodiest) view be be precisely at 2:07a.m. when the moon is entirely covered by the earth's shadow.

One of the reasons the term 'Blood Moon' is receiving a lot of attention is that it's religious in nature. Some of the world's leading biblical scholars are particularly interested in this sequence of four total lunar eclipses because they coincidentally align themselves perfectly with Jewish observances.

Blood moons is a pattern for Israel. For example, in 1949 a blood moon appeared right after Israel became a nation in 1948. It also happened again in 1967 when the Jews regained Jerusalem during the six-day war. The next time blood moons appear will be the year 2014 and 2015, on Jewish Holy Days such as Passover and the feast of Tabernacles.

The four 'Blood Moon' events are:

Total lunar eclipse: April 14-15
Total lunar eclipse: October 8

Total lunar eclipse: April 4
Total lunar eclipse: September 28



Two of the leading authors on the subjects are Mark Blitz and John Hagee. Both speak of a lunar tetrad, four successive total lunar eclipses, with no partial lunar eclipses in between, each of which is separated from the other by six full moons, as representing a fulfillment of Biblical prophecy.

"The sun will be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood before the great and dreadful day of the LORD comes." - Joel 2:31

"The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord." - Acts 2:20

Here's the 2 best-selling books that touch on the subject. They both provide thought-provoking conversation on the subject.

Adding to the spectacular heavenly array is a total solar eclipse on March 20, 2015. Even by astronomy's standards, all of these occurring in the next 18 months is quite rare indeed.

The "Blood Moon" eclipse is a hard act to follow, but keep watching the skies. In the weeks ahead, two meteor showers will be hitting their peak: the Lyrids and the Eta Aquarids.