Q:

Why is the moon yellow?

A:

Quick Answer

The moon is not yellow, but appears to look yellow when it is positioned high in the sky. For example, when the moon is low in the sky, it is being viewed through the most atmosphere and appears more red. As it moves higher into the sky, the amount of atmosphere that it is viewed through is lessened, making it look more yellow.

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Full Answer

To see the true color of the Moon, it has to be viewed from space. This is the only way to view the moon without the atmosphere of the Earth causing it to look different colors. Pictures that are taken from outer space show the moon as gray. This is due to the elements out of which the surface of the moon is made. According to NASA, the surface of the moon is mostly made of iron, magnesium, oxygen, aluminum, silicon and calcium.

The rocks on the moon also differ in coloring depending on the elements from which they are made. Most of the darker rocks on the moon are pyroxene, while the lighter ones are plagioclase feldspar. There are some rocks that are brought to the surface from deep inside the Moon that are green in color.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Where can you find information on the location of the moon in the night sky?

    A:

    DailyMoonPosition.com offers text and graphical information about the location of the moon in the sky relative to any U.S. or Canadian location. Additionally, MoonGiant.com displays a star chart of the moon's position in relation to stars, constellations and other sky objects.

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  • Q:

    Where does the moon rise?

    A:

    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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  • 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.

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  • Q:

    Why does the moon change size?

    A:

    The moon appears to change size depending on its location in the sky because of the phenomenon called the moon illusion. The apparent change in size occurs because of how the viewer's brain interprets the visual data it receives.

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