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Original Post (Thread Starter)
#936318 05/11/2022 1:54 PM
by Angie
What's up with the red sky? I read there was red sky in China and another article: Will the Moon really turn RED on May 16th?
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#936321 May 11th a 08:51 PM
by Mona - Astronomy
Mona - Astronomy
What's up with the red sky? I read there was red sky in China
This had passed me by, but The Independent reported . . .

The lights turning the sky crimson were coming from a fishing boat that was harvesting Pacific saury fishes, said China Aquatic Products Zhoushan Marine Fisheries Co, which owned the boat present in the water, according to a report by Global Times.

Officials in the area also confirmed that no fire was reported in the port city around the time skies turned red.

According to the experts, the weather in Zhoushan port city was perfect for a refraction phenomenon as the sky was cloudy with drizzle which led to an unusual reddening of the sky, triggering a brief panic.

A member from the meteorological bureau explained that when weather conditions are good, it leads to formation of more water in the atmosphere. This forms aerosols which then refract and scatter the light of fishing boats and create the red sky seen by the public," the official said, the report added.

This explanation sounds more likely than the end of the world! (But I can imagine that it was quite startling to the locals.)
1 member likes this
#936323 May 11th a 09:37 PM
by Mona - Astronomy
Mona - Astronomy
Will the Moon really turn RED on May 16th?

Now we're into astronomical territory. Yes, very likely the Moon will appear red to those who are able to see the total lunar eclipse occurring on that date. Have a look at the timeanddate eclipse map to see if it's visible at your location.

And why is the Moon likely to look red?

Sunlight contains all the colors of the spectrum, but the particles of the air scatter the blue-green part of the spectrum, letting the redder colors pass through. The greater the distance the light travels through the atmosphere, the greater is this filtering effect. For example, when we're looking straight up during the day, the sky is blue because the light has traveled only a short distance through the atmosphere. At the opposite extreme, there are red skies at dawn and sunset when sunlight travels through much more atmosphere.

During a total eclipse, the fainter and redder light is what reaches the Moon to be reflected back to us. As far back as the eighth century, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle described an eclipsed Moon as "sprinkled with blood".

Since it's the atmosphere that allows the eclipsed Moon to be visible and colored, the state of the atmosphere affects the the Moon's appearance. The color and brightness depend on the dust particles, clouds, pollutants, etc. in the air. Different particles filter the sunlight in slightly different ways. A totally eclipsed Moon isn't always red. It can look yellow, orange or brown.

In addition, volcanic ash in the atmosphere produces quite dark eclipses, because it decreases the amount of light that penetrates the atmosphere. Although volcanic ash produces brilliant sunsets, it makes for quite dark lunar eclipses. The Danjon scale shows some of the variations in eclipse color. A very dark lunar eclipse in 1881 followed the famous eruption of Krakatoa.

Blood Moons and Lunar Tetrads
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