Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2004 October 29
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Red Moon Triple
Credit & Copyright: Fred Espenak

Explanation: Some thought of baseball and some thought of Halloween during October 27th's widely viewed total lunar eclipse. Sliding through Earth's shadow, the Moon turned haunting shades of red and orange during the eclipse's total phase. The reddish hues are caused by sunlight scattered and refracted by the atmosphere into the Earth's otherwise dark central shadow region. Enjoying the show from Dunkirk, Maryland, USA, astronomer Fred Espenak recorded the images used in this composite photo. The picture shows the Moon at the beginning (right), middle (center) and end (left) of totality which lasted about 81 minutes. Though lunar eclipses can occur twice a year, this eclipse is perhaps remarkable for being the first total lunar eclipse to occur during a World Series baseball game.

Tomorrow's picture: Pumpkin Moon

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