Total lunar eclipse, 3 March 2007.

Cooper, Jamie

Total lunar eclipse, 3 March 2007.
3 5 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 27cm


The red colouring arises because of the scattering of sunlight in the Earth's atmosphere. Sunlight reaching the Moon must pass through a long and dense layer of the Earth's atmosphere, where it is scattered by dust particles. Shorter wavelengths are more likely to be scattered by the small particles, and so by the time the light has passed through the atmosphere, the longer wavelengths dominate. This resulting light we perceive as red. Several stars are also visible in this image.

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© Jamie Cooper / Science & Society Picture Library

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