G.ANTONIO MILANI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY G.ANTONIO MILANI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Eclipsed lunar disc. Image of a partial phase of a lunar eclipse near totality. Lunar eclipses are caused by the entry of the Moon into the cone of the shadow cast by the Earth. During a lunar eclipse the Moon does not generally disappear. It is still visible thanks to the sunlight refracted onto its surface by the Earth's atmosphere. Since red light is refracted less than blue light the Moon has a red-coppery colour. The lunar disc appears to be darker and redder when eclipses occur after strong volcanic eruptions. This is caused by the large amount of ash thrown into the atmosphere which scatters blue light more strongly than red light.
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