One August evening, around dusk, I noticed my husband setting up his 10 inch Newtonian telescope in our backyard.
There weren't many stars visible yet, but the moon was very bright. I had just gotten a new digital camera (Nikon CoolPix 800) and wanted to see if it could take a picture through his telescope. With the moon in focus, I held the camera lense up to the eyepiece and just clicked, using all automated functions on the camera. Conditions were right for a good capture of the moon's Terminator. This is the area in shadow that shows the detail of craters. The background of the moon was black, as there was nothing bright enough around the moon for my camera to capture.
According to folklore, October's full moon is called the "Blood Moon" or sometimes the "Hunter's Moon." It gets its name from hunters who tracked and killed their prey by autumn moonlight, stockpiling food for the winter ahead.
What makes the eclipsed moon turn red? The answer lies inside Earth's shadow.
Our planet casts a long shadow. It starts on the ground -- Step outside at night. You're in Earth's shadow. Think about it!--and it stretches almost a million miles into space, far enough to reach the moon.
The exact color depends on what's floating around in Earth's atmosphere. Following a volcanic eruption, for instance, dust and ash can turn global sunsets vivid red. The moon would glow vivid red, too. Lots of clouds, on the other hand, extinguish sunsets, leading to darker, dimmer eclipses.
The picture was taken using a digital camera and tripod. The moon was bright, but some of the red color was captured around the edge.
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