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Moon entering the partial phase of a total eclipse

Moon entering the partial phase of a total eclipse

R340/0483

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Credit

FRANK ZULLO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY FRANK ZULLO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Lunar eclipse. Moon entering the partial eclipse phase during a total eclipse. The Moon does not produce its own light but reflects that of the Sun. Eclipses occur when the Moon enters the shadow cast by the Earth. The darkened areas of the Moon do not generally disappear completely. They are still visible due to the sunlight refracted onto its surface by the Earth's atmosphere. The colour of the lunar disc during an eclipse depends on the amount of dust and volcanic ash present in the atmosphere of the Earth. This is because these particles scatter blue light, making the sunlight appear red. Photographed in the Ajo desert in Arizona, USA.

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