Tonight, I'm going to rouse my boys from bed to go outside and attempt to watch a relatively rare event: a blood moon eclipse that is also a super moon. Now, I may not see much, because I have a lot of trees to contend with, and although I could drive a ways to get a clear view, that wouldn't be fair to my two teens who have to get up at 5:30 in the morning for school (which could be the subject of an entire blog post by itself).
This phenomenon, of course, is just the juxtaposition of several motion events in the solar system; although it is relatively rare, it is not extremely rare. But some people look at any rare event and see portents of disaster.
And I could kind of understand that if we lived in a time when these events could not be predicted. Which, truth be told, was a very long time ago for most of the world. Even when we didn't know all the mechanics, some very astute observers figured out models that allowed some pretty accurate predictions. So it's not as if these things come out of nowhere.
But even now, when we've actually sent men to the moon, there are those who look on these celestial light shows as indicators of doom. Of course, predicting the end of the world is something of an industry by now. People write books about it, and even make money at it. I would try that, but I have this awful conscience thing that gets in the way.
I've honestly lost count of how many times the world was supposed to end in my less-than-six-decade lifetime. Some are calendrical, like 2012 with the Mayan calendar and all. Some have been about comets, and some seem to have pulled out of someone's hat. Most, actually.
Of course, the world will end someday. In a few billion years, certainly. Or maybe tomorrow, as far as human-kind is concerned. But if anyone can see it coming, I don't think it will actually be the people who write books about end times.
My money is on some guy with a computer and a telescope.