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Red moon at night: Stargazer's delight

Date:
April 16, 2014
Source:
National Science Foundation
Summary:
Monday night's lunar eclipse proved just as delightful as expected to those able to view it. On the East Coast, cloudy skies may have gotten in the way, but at the National Science Foundation's National Optical Astronomy Observatory near Tucson, Ariz., the skies offered impressive viewing.
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Lunar eclipse, April 15, 2014.
Credit: Stephen Pompea, NOAO

Monday night's lunar eclipse proved just as delightful as expected to those able to view it. On the East Coast, cloudy skies may have gotten in the way, but at the National Science Foundation's National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) near Tucson, Ariz., the skies offered impressive viewing.

Nicknamed a "blood moon," this lunar eclipse's color was similar to the majority of lunar eclipses. This has to do with Earth's atmosphere's propensity for longer-wavelength light (e.g., the reds, oranges and yellows seen in sunrises and sunsets). However, according to NOAO Astronomer Stephen Pompea, the lunar eclipse's hue means more than just a pretty moon.

"The study of the color of lunar eclipses can be used to understand dust in the stratosphere including the amount and particle size of dust injected by volcanic eruptions," he said. "Understanding the amount of dust can help scientists create better models of climate change."

For those who missed this lunar eclipse, fear not. Three more are to occur fairly soon: Oct. 8, 2014; April 4, 2015 and Sept. 27, 2015.


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The above post is reprinted from materials provided by National Science Foundation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


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National Science Foundation. "Red moon at night: Stargazer's delight." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140416162628.htm>.
National Science Foundation. (2014, April 16). Red moon at night: Stargazer's delight. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 5, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140416162628.htm
National Science Foundation. "Red moon at night: Stargazer's delight." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140416162628.htm (accessed August 5, 2015).

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