Monday, September 28, 2015

Lunar Eclipse

Supermoon lunar eclipse on September 27, 2015. Photo taken from the University of Utah.
Did you see the lunar eclipse last night? A lunar eclipse occurs when the earth is positioned between the sun and the moon so that earth's shadow completely blocks the moon.

The moon has a reddish tint to it. This red color is caused by light scattered by earth's atmosphere, essentially the same phenomenon that causes red sunsets.

Left image illustrates light being scattered and refracted by earth's atmosphere. Blue light is scattered most efficiently (that is why the sky is blue). With enough scattering (by a long path through the atmosphere) only red light makes reaches the moon shown on the right.
Read more about the red moon at EarthSky

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