Q:

What is the meaning of a yellow moon?

A:

Quick Answer

When the moon appears orange or yellow, it simply means that the observer is looking at it through more layers of atmosphere. Similar to the way in which the sun will look orange or red on the horizon, when the moon is low in the sky, the light from it will have to pass through more of the blue-absorbing atmosphere to reach the viewer's eye. By this time, only yellow, orange and red light will remain unabsorbed.

Know More
What is the meaning of a yellow moon?
Credit: StockPhotosForFree.com CC-BY-2.0

Full Answer

A yellow moon is commonly called a Harvest Moon. However, the phrase is more a reference to its earlier rising time during fall, which often provides more light after sunset during harvest season. The optical illusion of an increased moon size or proximity that often accompanies this yellow color is called the moon illusion. It is not the same as a supermoon, which is when the moon is actually closer to the planet.

Learn more about Our Moon

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why does the moon change colors?

    A:

    The moon appears to change colors sometimes due to the scattering of light through the atmosphere. Moonlight has to pass through more atmosphere when it is on the horizon than when it is higher in the sky. By the time the moonlight is visible, all of the fragments of light on the blue end of the color spectrum have been scattered away by the air molecules, leaving only red, yellow and orange pieces of light.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why is the moon orange?

    A:

    The moon appears orange when the sunlight it reflects passes through a thicker portion of the Earth's atmosphere. Generally, the moon only appears orange when it is close to the horizon.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why does the moon look orange?

    A:

    Any time the moon appears orange in the sky, it's because of light diffusion and refraction in the atmosphere. When the moon is low in the sky, the blue light reflected from its surface is scattered in the dense atmosphere, giving the moon a reddish-orange cast.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why does the moon appear to take on a colored hue during an eclipse?

    A:

    According to Astronomy Magazine, the moon turns red during a lunar eclipse because it is illuminated by the light that refracts through Earth's atmosphere. While the moon may pass into Earth's umbral shadow, the light that bends around the planet is enough to give its satellite an eerie red pallor.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore