The Science Behind a Blood Moon

Article By: Drenn Bursk

The moon: a big, beautiful satellite in the sky. Orbiting earth in an approximately 29.5 day cycle. We see it, we admire it, we blame it when we act out of sorts. But when it’s big beautiful self turns red, why is that? Do you know?

A blood moon is something that rarely happens (about twice a year), and though it has no special astronomical meaning, it’s wonderful to see. Thousands of people stand outside just to get a look at the deep red, brown thing in the sky. The moon circles the earth at an angle, and the earth circles the sun. When the timing is right, the moon will begin to be immersed in earth’s shadow. The outer part of which is called the penumbra. This causes the moon to darken.

Some describe it as looking like a bite was taken out of the moon. As the moon continues to be engrossed in earth’s shadow, it reaches the umbra. Where all of earth’s combined sunrises and sunsets bend and stretch outwards across the atmosphere, creating a red cast upon the moon. Depending on what pollutions are in the sky, this can affect how red or brown the moon appears.

Did you have the luck of seeing this red ruby in the sky?

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