Astronomy Picture of the Day

Orange Moon, Red Flash

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#80073 by @ 23.09.2005 00:00 - nach oben -
Orange Moon, Red Flash


This remarkable telescopic image highlights the deep orange
cast of a

Moon seen very close to the eastern
horizon earlier this week, on September 19.

In fact, today's equinox
at 22:23 UT
marks the beginning of Fall in the Northern Hemisphere
and makes this view from Stuttgart, Germany an almost

While the long sight-line through the atmosphere filters and reddens
the moonlight, it also bends different colors of light through
slightly different angles, producing noticeable
red (bottom) and green (top) lunar rims.

Also captured here floating just below the Moon is
a thin, red mirage (inset) -- in this case, an atmospherically
magnified and distorted
image of the red rim.

Of course, this tantalizing lunar "red flash" is
related to
the more commonly seen
green flash
of the Sun.

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