Why Does the Moon Look Orange?


Quick Answer

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.

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Why Does the Moon Look Orange?
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Full Answer

The moon can also appear red or orange during a total lunar eclipse. When the moon passes completely into the Earth's shadow, light still reaches its surface, refracted through the atmosphere around the Earth. This light is much dimmer than the direct illumination from the sun, but it's still bright enough to give the moon a dim reddish-orange glow.

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