Sunlight passing through Earth's atmosphere turns the Moon reddish-orange during a lunar eclipse.
Click on image for full size
Eclipse photo courtesy Andy Steere; diagram courtesy NASA/Tony Phillips.

Eclipse of the Moon in October 2004
News story originally written on October 27, 2004

There will be an eclipse of the Moon on Wednesday night, October 27, 2004 (or during the wee hours of the morning on the 28th if you are in Europe or Africa). This eclipse is a total eclipse of the Moon, which means the Moon will pass through the darkest part of Earth's shadow.

During the eclipse, the Moon will turn into a "pumpkin moon" - just in time for Halloween! Earth's shadow makes the Moon dark during an eclipse. However, even the darkest part of Earth's shadow lets a little light through. The light that does get through passes through Earth's atmosphere, which scatters away any light that isn't red. That's why the Sun looks red at sunset, too.

The main part of the eclipse will last about 80 minutes. Check out the link to NASA's site (below) to find out when the eclipse can be seen from where you live.

Last modified October 27, 2004 by Randy Russell.

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