Moon over Vancouver burns blood red from wildfire smoke

Aug 6 2017, 2:50 am

If you looked up at the blood red-coloured moon during yesterday’s night sky and thought there was a lunar eclipse, you thought wrong.

A stunning, high-detail photo of the non-celestial event by local photographer Gabriel Lam caught the wildfire smoke’s ‘filter’ on the moon.

All that extra particulate matter in the atmosphere caused the reflection of light from the moon to scatter more than usual.

Certain light colours with a shorter wavelength, namely green, blue, and purple, scatter in all directions while other light colours with a longer wavelength, namely red, orange, and yellow, continue through the atmosphere and reach the human eye. It effectively gives the moon a reddish appearance.

For similar reasons, the sun also appears red in the haze, especially during sunset.

The ‘blood moon’ over Metro Vancouver on the evening of Friday, August 4, 2017.
(Gabriel Lam / Meimento)

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