Q:

What is a blood moon?

A:

Quick Answer

In astronomy, the term blood moon refers to a complete lunar eclipse which causes the moon to appear red. The moon looks red due to dispersed light from Earth's sunrises and sunsets that is refracted back onto the moon's surface.

Know More
What is a blood moon?
Credit: Scott Barbour / Stringer Getty Images News Getty Images

Full Answer

Different atmospheric conditions during an eclipse, including humidity, dust, temperature and more, can make the blood moon vary in color, from a more coppery hue to a deep red. In folklore, the term hunter's moon is also sometimes used interchangeably with the term blood moon. This blood moon refers to a specific full moon, however, which occurs after the harvest moon and the autumn equinox, usually in October.

Learn more about Our Moon

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How often does a blood moon occur?

    A:

    A blood moon, or lunar tetrad, does not occur on a regular schedule. However, the blood moons of 2014 and 2015 are not isolated events. Between the first century and 2014, there were 62 lunar tetrads.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why is the moon important?

    A:

    Most people know that the moon's gravitational influence has an effect on the tides on Earth, but some scientists also believe that the presence of the moon played an important role in making Earth habitable to begin with. The interplay between the Earth and the moon mirrors events that occurred throughout the early solar system, as a Mars-sized object may have hit the Earth, sending some of the mantle into orbit that soon cooled into the moon. Over time, the relationship between the Earth and the moon may well have assisted the advent of life.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How big is the moon?

    A:

    Earth's sole natural satellite, the moon, has a circumference of 6,783.5 miles around its equator. Its surface area is 14,647,439.75 square miles, which is approximately 0.07 times that of the Earth.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why do we have a moon?

    A:

    No concrete evidence explains why there is a moon. The best hypothesis presented is the Giant Impactor hypothesis: It suggests that around 4.45 billion years ago, while the Earth was still forming, a large object hit the Earth at an angle.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore