Q:

Why is the moon yellow?

A:

The moon is not yellow, but appears to look yellow when it is positioned high in the sky. For example, when the moon is low in the sky, it is being viewed through the most atmosphere and appears more red. As it moves higher into the sky, the amount of atmosphere that it is viewed through is lessened, making it look more yellow.

To see the true color of the Moon, it has to be viewed from space. This is the only way to view the moon without the atmosphere of the Earth causing it to look different colors. Pictures that are taken from outer space show the moon as gray. This is due to the elements out of which the surface of the moon is made. According to NASA, the surface of the moon is mostly made of iron, magnesium, oxygen, aluminum, silicon and calcium.

The rocks on the moon also differ in coloring depending on the elements from which they are made. Most of the darker rocks on the moon are pyroxene, while the lighter ones are plagioclase feldspar. There are some rocks that are brought to the surface from deep inside the Moon that are green in color.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    When was the moon first discovered?

    A:

    It is likely that the moon was discovered as soon as people decided to look to the sky. The moon is a lot older than the human race, so it would have always been in the sky for people to observe.

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  • Q:

    Does the moon move across the night sky?

    A:

    The moon moves across the sky every night. The movement of the moon can be seen over the course of minutes when the moon is near the horizon, while it is rising and setting. The moon’s movement is also noticeable around noon when it is high in the sky.

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  • Q:

    Why does the moon change size?

    A:

    The moon appears to change size depending on its location in the sky because of the phenomenon called the moon illusion. The apparent change in size occurs because of how the viewer's brain interprets the visual data it receives.

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  • Q:

    Why does the moon look white?

    A:

    The moon appears white because the color receptors in the retina of the human eye are not stimulated by the moon's low light intensity. The eye only sees the moon as light gray in the black sky.

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