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Slashdot - A Strange Pumpkin-Orange Full Moon Rises in the Sky Tonight


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Look at the full moon! Tonight it may appear larger and more orange than usual, reports Space.com, "taking on a fitting appearance for the fall season and for the build-up to Halloween." This is the result of something called the 'moon illusion' and the fact it is being viewed close to the horizon. The orange color comes about because as we look at the full moon close to the horizon, the light that it reflects towards us is passing through more of the Earth's atmosphere than when it is close to overhead. Molecules in Earth's atmosphere are really good at scattering photons of blue light which have shorter wavelengths than red light. This means that blue photons bounce around the sky before hitting our eyeâS — âS and that's why the sky is blue. Longer wavelength red photons slip right through these molecules and straight to our eye for the most part. When red photons reflected by the moon have to pass through the thickest part of the atmosphere at the horizon, the chance of them being bounced around is increased. That's why the moon appears redder when we look at it close to the horizon....

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