Monday, August 18, 2008

"Why Does the Moon Turn Orange Sometimes when it Rises?"

When I say that it reminds me of the movie "The Kid." Ever seen that? If not, it's a must. It's Bruce Willis at his BEST. I believe it's rated 'G' and by Disney. It's very near the top on my favorite flick list.

Last night however we were at the beach and saw the moon rise into the sky for the evening.. it was red and then got lighter as it ascended higher in the dark night sky.

I remember roughly how that happens from watching "The Kid" (who says you cant learn stuff from watching a movie??) but wanted to brush up on my facts. ;)
So I looked it up!
Here's what I found!

Have you ever wondered why the moon is more orange or yellow in color when it first rises at night? This effect is caused by the atmosphere of the earth. The reason for the orange color is due to the scattering of light by the atmosphere. When the moon is near the horizon, the moonlight must pass through much more atmosphere than when the moon is directly overhead. By the time the moonlight reaches your eyes, the blue, green, and purple pieces of visible light have been scattered away by air molecules. That's why you only see yellow, orange, or red.
The moon can have an orange color at any time of the year. Sometimes the moon appears orange even when it's directly overhead. This occurs when there's a lot of dust, smoke, or pollution in the atmosphere. The size of those particles will determine the type of color you will see.

Look first at the white moon directly overhead. See the red part of the arrow pointing to the white moon? This red part of the arrow shows the part of the atmosphere we are looking through to see the moon. Now look at the orange moon just rising in the east. Look at the blue portion of the arrow pointing to the orange moon. See how much longer the blue line is than the red line. This shows that we are looking through about three times as much atmosphere at a rising or setting moon.

...Just in case you were wondering...


Kimmer said...

Hey Hannah!
great to hear from you- thanks for your msg! why yes I have wondered about the moon being orange, thanks for explaining it - and that is such the coolest pic of the moon on the first part of this post. I hope you are doing well
hugs & blessings~
Kimmer :)

de' BrandedHouse said...

hi ... i love that movie 'the kid' and just want to ask you if you remember what exact sentences wrote about the orange moon at the end of the movie because im wandering...

Yandisa Cheez Ndabazandile said...

Hi! I only watched the movie yesterday. Good movie I have to say, thank you for answering the Question at the end of it. I couldn't get it yesterday hence I was not watching it on DVD.


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