Orange moon?

June 24, 2005 at 10:42 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

If you looked east after sunset last night, you probably saw the full moon rising above the horizon… with a definite orange tint to it. The moon is always more orange-hued when it is near the horizon. That’s because the thicker atmosphere near the horizon filters out the blue wavelengths of light, leaving only the orange and red hues to show through. As it rises higher in the sky, it becomes more yellowish, and then almost white. The following link gives a detailed explanation of why the atmosphere causes this effect:
http://home.hiwaay.net/~krcool/Astro/moon/moonorange/

But the past few nights, the effect has been more noticeable than usual. That’s because of the increased haze and air pollution in the atmosphere we have seen this week. That makes the air optically thicker, so the moon looks more orange than when the air is clear of pollutants.

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