Why does the moon turn red?


red_moonUsually red color of moon is seen during an eclipse. The reason behind this is exactly the same that why sun appears red during sunrise and sunset. Sun always shines, when there is night in one part of the earth the other part is having day. When the earth comes between the sun and the moon sun rays fall on earth which causes shadow on the moon. The sun, the moon, the earth is in such a position that sunlight has to pass through the atmosphere of earth to reach moon. This happens only during the eclipse.

So the earth atmosphere scatters the light coming from the sun but longest wavelength of red color passes through the atmosphere as it is causing the red colored shadow on the moon. Same is the reason why sun appears reddish during sunset and sunrise because at that time the light has to travel more atmospheric distance.

Change in color also happens when very large volcanoes erupt which releases a huge amount of dust particles and smoke in the atmosphere. Some amount of change is observed due to the burning of forest. This make stars and other very far away objects in the universe appear not very clear to the human eye. If there was no atmosphere on the earth it has casts black shadow instead of red and we were not able to see the moon at all during the eclipse.

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14 COMMENTS

    The moon was a bright yellow/red about 4 week ago night after night and it was very bright.Now for about a week it’s been setting the same colour in the uk.I have a video of it on youtube user name poulter27 its really strange i’ve never seen it happen this regular i’m trying to find out why and can’t find the answer.

    Yesterday when I finished watching Harry Potter Part 2 the moon was red. and It was Thursday on July 21st is was big and red and it was a half moon and it was waning. and it was 11:45 when it was at its most red color.

    I just happen today…..the moon is red!

    What caused to make the moon red…?

    September 14 2011……..

    Please I don’t understand what’s going

    On? Why they Really call it the eclipse?

    Excellent website. Plenty of useful information here. I am sending it to several friends ans also sharing in delicious. And certainly, thank you for your sweat!

    Coming home from work 10/4/2012 Thursday night 10 pm. EST. The moon was almost full, very low in the eastern sky, and was blood red….???? You could faintly see the craters, it was so dark in color….. Through the beautiful dark purplish-cranberry- blood red, color….it was kind of erie,….. as there appeared to be no light emanating from the moon….all around the moon it was dark???? It says on here, that is an eclipse????….I didn’t hear of an eclipse????? Did anyone else see this wonderful sight???? I live in northeast central Indiana……. Thanks Skeeter0757……

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