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Lunar Eclipse 2022: What causes ‘Blood Moon’ look red and is it dangerous to look at it?

Google Oneindia News

New Delhi, May 06: Brace Yourselves! The blood moon 2022 cometh. Blood moons - also known as total lunar eclipses - occur when the Earth lines up between the Moon and the Sun.

The first lunar eclipse 2022 or Chandra Grahan 2022 is scheduled for May 16 and will begin at 07:02 a.m. and conclude at 12:20 p.m. It is visible from most of Europe, northern Africa, the Middle East, and western parts of Asia.

 Lunar Eclipse 2022: Why ‘Blood Moon’ look red and is it dangerous to look at it?

Is the May 2022 Lunar Eclipse also known as a Blood Moon?

This blood moon occurs during a total lunar eclipse. During a total lunar eclipse, Earth lines up between the Moon and the Sun. This hides the Moon from the sunlight.

When this happens, the only light that reaches the Moon's surface is from the edges of the Earth's atmosphere. The air molecules from Earth's atmosphere scatter out most of the blue light. The remaining light reflects onto the Moon's surface with a red glow, making the Moon appear red in the night sky.

The name "blood moon" is also sometimes used for a Moon that appears reddish because of dust, smoke or haze in the sky. And it can be one of the full moons of autumn when the leaves are turning red.

So, why the Moon turn red?

The same phenomenon that makes our sky blue and our sunsets red causes the Moon to turn red during a lunar eclipse. It's called Rayleigh scattering. Light travels in waves, and different colors of light have different physical properties. Blue light has a shorter wavelength and is scattered more easily by particles in Earth's atmosphere than red light, which has a longer wavelength.

Red light, on the other hand, travels more directly through the atmosphere. When the Sun is overhead, we see blue light throughout the sky. But when the Sun is setting, sunlight must pass through more atmosphere and travel farther before reaching our eyes. The blue light from the Sun scatters away, and longer-wavelength red, orange, and yellow light pass through.

During a lunar eclipse, the Moon turns red because the only sunlight reaching the Moon passes through Earth's atmosphere. The more dust or clouds in Earth's atmosphere during the eclipse, the redder the Moon will appear. It's as if all the world's sunrises and sunsets are projected onto the Moon.

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