September 28, 2022

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What is the true color of the moon?

If you are in the habit To see the moon, you must have noticed that our natural satellite has different colors. Seen during the day, the moon’s surface appears white, but at night, the moon displays more yellow tones. So, we have the following question: After all, what is the color of the moon? Why does she change so much?

Like the light reflected by the moon passes through the atmosphere, particles in air scatter certain wavelengths. For example, this happens when the Moon is still low in the sky: when it is close to the horizon, sunlight travels a long way through the Earth’s atmosphere. In this, the blue light of the electromagnetic spectrum is scattered more, but the red light is not.

The moon appears white during the day (Image: Reproduction/Amar Alhalawani/Unsplash)

This causes the moon to appear red when it rises. But as it rises through the sky, the reflected light becomes less and less visible Atmosphere, which gives yellow color. The white color of the lunar surface seen during the day occurs because the light reflected by our natural satellite “competes” with sunlight, which is scattered by the atmosphere.

What is the color of the moon?

As you may have noticed, the Moon has many colors on its surface, and the best way to observe “real” colors is through images taken from space without atmospheric interference. In these photos, you can easily see that our natural satellite is dark gray and sometimes white, black and orange. But, in general, the The plains are the brightest parts of the moonCalcium-rich and calcium-poor.

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The dark regions of the Moon are called “lunar seas”, and geological formations take the Latin word for “sea”. They were formed by ancient volcanic eruptions and meteorite impacts, and they reflect less light than lunar plains, making them appear darker to our eyes.

Photo taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, whose camera has filters that show the Moon in true color (Image: Reproduction/NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University)

Lunar oceans are rich in iron oxide, while their basalts contain high concentrations of titanium oxide, a compound that causes a blue color. Sea calm Has a core in tones similar to brown, which are “warm” Sea of ​​peaceWith dark and blue colors.

It is worth remembering that there are photographs of the Moon, thanks to digital processing techniques, which are colored differently and exaggerated than in nature. Although they don’t match the Moon’s natural colors, these color changes through processing are important to scientists. Geological map of lunar surfaceIdentifying variations of compounds there.

Why does the moon change color?

Although shades of gray are mixed with other colors on the Moon, Earth’s atmosphere can provide the most interesting colors for us observing it from the Earth’s surface. The moon can be seen in shades of blue, brown, yellow, orange, and red thanks to the scattering of light by the molecules of the atmosphere that we explained above.

Other colors of the moon appear in the following combinations:

Variations in the moon’s color photographed over 10 years (Image: Reproduction/Marcella Giulia Pace)

The photographs were created by Marcella Giulia Pace, an astrophysicist who recorded the moon in different locations in Italy for over 10 years. A blue moon is rare, and occurs when large dust particles are seen in Earth’s atmosphere, while a pink one can be the result of a combination of different effects.

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Also note that the photo loop ends with a red moon, which happened once Total lunar eclipse. During the event, the Sun and Moon are on opposite sides of the Earth, so our planet blocks part of the sunlight falling on the Moon. Thus, the atmosphere filters the light, giving it a red color, earning it the famous nickname of “Blood Moon”.

Source: Universe Today, NASA, ZMEScience