Monday, October 6, 2014

Rare 'Selenelion' Will Paint the Moon Red Wednesday

Posted By on Mon, Oct 6, 2014 at 9:36 AM

Skywatchers are anxiously anticipating this Wednesday's lunar eclipse, which will create a so-called "selenelion."

In fact, the eclipse will occur just as the moon sets and sun rises, simultaneously, Wednesday morning, when they'll be 180 degrees apart in the sky.  Scientists say that thanks to the Earth's atmosphere, the images of both the sun and moon appear to be lifted above the horizon by atmospheric refraction, allowing us to see the sun for a few extra minutes before it actually rises and the moon for a few extra minutes before it actually sets.

The moon should turn a deep red as some of the light from the sun is bent around the Earth's atmosphere and reflected onto the moon. Weather permitting, most watchers should have between two and nine minutes to witness the phenomenon.

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