Yesterday night i witnessed something very strange when i looked outside the window. I saw the moon (crescent) but it was dull red and right on the horizon ,which is strange considering that it is usually on the upper right of the night sky and white in colour. On further inspection with my binoculars i noticed it was lowering down until it was hidden by the mountain range (5km away) next to my building, this all occurred within a few minutes (about 5).

Tonight i saw the moon (crescent) had again returned to its normal position.

Please explain the cause for this, i'm completely baffled!

(Sorry for the poor wording, i'm not familiar with all the astronomical terms!)


1 Answer 1


The dull red color has been due to atmospheric causes, like the reddish sun close to sunset. There hasn't been an astronomical reason for the reddish color.

A few days after New Moon moonset occurs short after sunset, so you won't see the Moon high over the horizon at those evenings. With each day the Moon is a little higher above the horizon after sunset. It's hence less close to the horizon at the same time of the day. Less close to the horizon means less atomospheric absorption/scattering responsible for the dull red color, assuming the same weather conditions.

At Full Moon the Moon is at the opposite side of the Sun relative to Earth. Moon is then rising shortly after sunset.


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