Why Does the Moon Looks Red During Eclipse?

On December 10 a total lunar eclipse will take place which will be best seen in Asia, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand. Sometime during the eclipse you may observe that the moon has turned creepy-red. Let us find the reason why red lunar eclipses take place. When the moon is in the eclipse, Earth’s shadow is creeping across the moon’s face. The shadow is normally dark and on the totality moment the moon completely disappears from the sky. But in some cases the on the totality moment shadow turns into some other color and the moon remains visible in the sky in the eclipse. The reason for that is in the Earth’s atmosphere. If there would be no atmosphere around the   Earth,  we would see the totally black Earth’s shadow on the moon

But the atmosphere we have around the Earth is holding a key role in filtering the sunlight onto the shadow on the moon. The filtered sunlight drops a red shadow on the moon and the lunar eclipse we observe changes its color. However, the lunar eclipse can be colored in other colors as well. It can be brown, red, orange or yellow, which is dependent on the level of dust and clouds in the Earth’s atmosphere. If there is a significant volcanic activity in the atmosphere, the shadow on the moon will be rather dark. In December 1992, right after the eruption of the Mount Pinatubo volcano in the Philippines, there was so much dust in the air, that the lunar eclipse was barely seen. And no one can predict what will be the color of the lunar eclipse and how red it will appear. So, just get your binocular or a portable telescope and enjoy the lunar performance.


source: www.earthsky.org