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Why Does A Total Eclipse Moon Look Red?
Space fascinates me. I do think about it a lot. There are so many mysteries out there and look at us; we are always on the lookout to discover and also uncover so many of those secrets. When we look at space and all the planets in our galaxy and all the other galaxies that we have discovered, it does make us feel insignificant and puny. That is because we are insignificant when we are talking about the galaxies and the universe as a whole. Space is the final frontier. When we master space travel, only then can we call ourselves an advanced species. I am certainly very impressed with how much humanity has achieved when it comes to the whole space race. In this article, I will be talking about why the moon looks reddish in a total eclipse.
If the Earth did not have an atmosphere, the moon would be dark and perhaps even invisible when completely eclipsed within the shadow of the Earth.
During a Lunar eclipse, you will see the Earth’s shadow creeping up towards the face of the moon. The shadow will then appear dark like a cookie but with a bite taken out of it, until the entire shadow covers the moon. During this breathtaking time of totality, the shadow on the moon will change. And then instead of appearing dark, it will appear red, why is that?
The reason has been known to stem from the air we breathe. During a full lunar eclipse, the Earth lies directly between the moon and the Sun, and that would cause the Earth to cast its shadow on the moon. If the Earth did not have an atmosphere, the moon would entirely be in Earth’s shadow, and the moon would then appear dark, and it could even be invisible.
Because of the Earth’s atmosphere, what really happens is indeed very beautiful and also very subtle.
The Earth’s atmosphere is known to extend 80 kilometers above the surface of the Earth. When a total Lunar eclipse happens and when the moon is fully submerged in the shadow of the Earth, there is indeed a circular ring around the Earth, and the ring is of our atmosphere through which the rays of the Sun pass through.
Sunlight has been known to comprise of a range of frequencies, and as sunlight passes our atmosphere, the green to violet portion of the light spectrum is essentially filtered out. The same effect is what makes the sky blue, also the ocean water too. Then the reddish portion of the spectrum is least affected in this case.
The bottom line is that the moon can appear red during the total lunar eclipse because of the sunlight, which is filtered and also refracted by the atmosphere of the Earth.
December 3, 2019
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