Red Moon caused by Australian fires

Red Moon

Red Moon

The day after the Mercury transit this week (Wednesday 13th November) we were able to view an exceptionally red moon in the east as it rose above the horizon. It’s redness was because of dust in the atmosphere from the Australian bush fires.

Our president David Greig captured a video of the red moon on Wednesday evening, and posted it on Facebook. Bay of Plenty newspaper SunLive reporter Alisha Evans interviewed David and posted his video. Quoting David, Alisha wrote –

The moon is always a yellow-orange colour when it’s coming up over the horizon for the same reasons that we have orange-red sunsets which is the scattering of light. It’s called rayleigh scattering – basically the same thing that causes the sky to look blue as well.

The moon may have looked particularly orange-red because of the fires in Australia but certainly when the moon got higher in the sky it was the normal white colour.

Red Moon

Red Moon rise on Wednesday evening photographed near the Minden lookout in Te Puna.

Photo: David Greig

The full moon occurred on Tuesday this week. Wednesday’s moon was a waning gibbous moon that was 15.5 days old and 99 percent illuminated.

View Alisha’s SunLive post here –

https://sunlive.co.nz/news/226612-red-moon-delights-star-gazers.html

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Red Moon

Transit of Mercury

Our next public meeting

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Transit of Mercury

On Tuesday morning this week (12th November) we were able to view the planet Mercury passing across the sun. This is called a transit of Mercury. It’s a rare event that won’t be seen from Earth again until 2032.

The smallest planet in the solar system is also the closest to our star, and occasionally it crosses in front of the sun’s bright disk from our perspective here on Earth. The last time this happened was in 2016. We’ll have to wait another 13 years to see the next one. On Tuesday the planet looked like a tiny traveling blemish on the sun’s face as it passed in front of the sun.

Mercury transit has begun

Mercury beginning its transit of the sun on Tuesday. This image was captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory as Mercury was approaching the limb of the sun to begin the transit.

Image credit: NASA/SDO/HMI/AIA

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Our next public meeting –

Tuesday 26th November 2019

Information about the meeting will be published in a subsequent post.

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TAS large

tas.secretary@gmail.com

 www.facebook.com/tauranga.astronomy

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