Why the Moon Turns Red?

Mostly the moon displays red color while it is undergoing an eclipse. The fact of its being red is analogous to the causes associated with red sun after dawn or before sunset. The sun being a source of light itself keeps glowing irrespective of earth having light or dark prevailing on it. At the moment earth happens to appear between the sun and the moon, the sunlight falling on earth casts its shadow on the moon.

In other words, the three celestial bodies assume such a position in three-dimensional space that the sunrays have to be routed through the atmospheric buildup of the earth before reaching the moon. This arrangement is witnessed during the Total Eclipse only.

Red Moon Why the Moon Turns Red?

The light emanating from the sun gets scattered while piercing through the atmosphere of the earth. However, the wavelength of red color is allowed to seep through the atmosphere to strike the moon surface. This phenomenon also explains the mild red appearance of the sun during setting in and rising as we can understand that in this case the light has to travel relatively greater atmospheric length all the way through atmosphere to the earth.

Light color may change in case of high scale volcano eruption on huge mass of land. In such a scenario there is murky all over the sky overcast with smoke and flakes of eruptive debris that render the light to blur and look red and pale.

Similarly, color change on the same pattern is witnessed if there is a wide scale jungle fire. Such scenarios on earth not only affect color change of the sun only but also the moon and the light emitting stars.

Due to phenomenon of light scattering in the upper atmosphere, human eye views only a blurred / unreal image of the heavenly objects. If there were no atmosphere over us the earth would have cast black, instead of red, shadows over moon and we won’t be able to see the moon at all during eclipse.

Filed Under: Science

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