Sky lit by red moon, possible impact from air pollution

Sky lit by red moon, possible impact from air pollution

Red moon at 10:50 p.m. on March 27, Tomigusuku City


March 28, 2016 Ryukyu Shimpo

On the night of March 27, Ryukyu Shimpo received information from several readers that the moon was glowing red in the sky. It was four days after the full moon, and the slightly waning moon hung low in the sky, fantastically lighting up the night.

According to Takeshi Miyaji, director of the Ishigakijima Astronomical Observatory, when the moon is low in the sky, its light must pass through a thicker layer of atmosphere before reaching the earth, making it difficult for all light rays besides red to reach us. This can cause the moon to appear red. When the air is polluted, the moon is more likely to appear red, since pollution makes it more difficult for light to reach the earth.

(English translation by T&CT and Sandi Aritza)

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