Q:

What causes a red moon?

A:

Quick Answer

A red moon occurs when the Earth eclipses the moon from sunlight. This is a celestial event in which the moon turns a reddish color.

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What causes a red moon?
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Full Answer

As the sun shines its light rays toward Earth, many of the rays are absorbed into the atmosphere. Those rays that are not absorbed are reflected back off of the Earth. Blue light rays scatter when beamed into the Earth, which is the reason the sky is blue. Red light, however, is refracted around the Earth. When there is a total lunar eclipse, those red light rays are aimed at the moon, giving it a reddish glow.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the meaning of a red moon?

    A:

    Scientifically speaking, there are three meanings for a red moon: that there is a lunar eclipse, that the moon is near the horizon and the light is passing through a larger amount of atmosphere or that particles in the air (from events like a forest fire or a volcanic eruption) are partially obscuring the light. Any of these conditions cause the light from the moon to be partially scattered, eliminating the blue and green parts of the visible light spectrum so that only red light filters through.

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  • Q:

    Why does the shape of the moon appear to change?

    A:

    The shape of the moon appears to change because its position changes during its revolution around Earth. The shape of the moon changes according to the reflection of the sun's light upon its surface.

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  • Q:

    Was Neil Armstrong misquoted?

    A:

    Whether Neil Armstrong's famous saying "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" is a misquote or not seems to be a matter of some debate. NASA authorities at the time claimed he said "one small step for a man" and Armstrong himself has occupied both sides of the debate at different times.

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  • Q:

    What causes the moon to speed up or slow down in orbit?

    A:

    The moon accelerates or decelerates because the pull of gravity between it and the earth changes as it moves closer or farther from earth. As the moon orbits the earth, it moves closer in one half of its cycle and away in the other half. As the moon approaches the earth, mutual gravity increases its speed.

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