Q:

What causes a red moon?

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Quick Answer

A red moon occurs when the Earth eclipses the moon from sunlight. The moon looks red due to dispersed light from Earth's sunrises and sunsets that is refracted back onto the moon's surface.

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What causes a red moon?
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Full Answer

As the sun shines its light rays toward Earth, many of the rays are absorbed into the atmosphere. Those rays that are not absorbed are reflected back off of the Earth. Blue light rays scatter when beamed into the Earth, which is the reason the sky is blue. Red light, however, is refracted around the Earth. When there is a total lunar eclipse, those red light rays are aimed at the moon, giving it a reddish glow.

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    What makes a half moon?

    A:

    According to NASA, the phases of the moon are caused by the sunlight and shadow created by its relative position to the sun. At two points during the 29.5-day lunar cycle, the side of the moon facing the Earth is half in sunlight, half in shade. This creates a half moon, a phase that lasts a few days before it either fills to gibbous or shrinks to a waning crescent.

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    Why does the moon shine?

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    The moon appears to shine because its surface reflects sunlight. Light from the sun travels through space to reach the Earth-moon system just over eight minutes after it is emitted. Some of this light falls on the surface of the moon where, according to Universe Today, 12 percent of it is reflected back into space.

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    Where is the moon located?

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    The moon is located an average of 238,855 miles from the Earth, according to Space.com. Because its orbit is irregular, its closest approach to the Earth is 225,700 miles while at its farthest, the moon is 252,000 miles from the Earth.

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    Where does the moon rise?

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    The moon rises in the eastern sky and sets in the western sky because of Earth's rotation. Its rising and setting positions vary throughout the year from northeast/northwest to due east/west to southeast/southwest.

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