I have skimmed/read the article Witte provided a link to. What seems to be the case is that several unusually dark eclipses occurred in this 10 year period. None of them lasted for more than several hours.

What causes a dark eclipse? The article doesn't go into that, but I will speculate. A total eclipse of the moon occurs when the Moon is entirely within the shadow of the Earth. Normally, however, some light from the sun manages to reach the moon because it is deflected by clouds in the atmosphere. From the moon, this would appear like a glow around the edge of the Earth. Large amounts of volcanic particles in the atmosphere could extinguish, i.e. absorb, this deflected light before it could escape the atmosphere. Thus total darkness on the Moon. Starlight would not be effected in this way.



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