Fiery Moon

Red Moon

Lately, Minnesota has had strange lighting conditions because of smoke from Canadian forest fires filling the atmosphere.

The sun has not been shining as brightly, and most noticeably, the moon has been tinted strange colors. When the full moon rose on July 1st, it was a yellowish tan, and the rest of the sky was hazy. When it set in the morning, my mom came and woke me up to see how red it was. I wonder how intense the color is compared to a lunar eclipse?

Ron Miller, a blogger at io9, made a series of pictures showing how big different planets would look in the night sky if they were the same distance away as our moon. The moon that morning reminded me of how Mars might look:

His other pictures are pretty interesting too, you can check them out at



Earthshine is a phenomenon that occurs when you can see the unlit part of the Moons disk. Normally it is difficult to see anything beyond the crescent, but sometimes light reflecting off of the Earth lights up the Moons surface enough that we can make out some details. More broadly, this is known as Planetshine.

It was not this bright in person, (looking more like the photo at the end of this post) but it makes for an interesting photographic opportunity if you just overexpose the lit part of the crescent. You can even see some stars in the photo. If the Moon was fully lit, you would not be able to take a picture capturing both surface details and stars in the frame.