Why is the Moon red tonight? Bizarre phenomenon is seen across the US – 'insane red'

Super blood moon: Giant full moon turns red over

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eclipses are the one time when people look up at night expecting to see the Moon take on a reddish hue. But Blood Moons only happen every two-and-a-half years on average and cannot account for the bizarre phenomenon seen all over North America in recent days. Social media has been taken over by reports of the Sun and Moon both looking unusually red, with countless pictures of the wonder shared online.

One Twitter user shared a photo of the orange-tinged Moon, saying: “Tried to get a photo of the Moon.

“Colour didn’t come out. It’s a very dark orange colour.”

Others have said the Moon is “so huge and orange” or described it as “smoky, orange”.

And in some cases, the Moon’s unusual appearance appears to have even sparked some concern.

READ MORE: Buck Moon: What is the meaning behind July’s unusual Full Moon name?

Red Moon: Moon with unsual colour at night

An orange Moon rises over Oregon and Neew York in the US (Image: GETTY)

Red Moon: The Moon rising over New York's skyline

The bizarre phenomenon has been seen all over the US and parts of Canada (Image: GETTY)

One person tweeted: “Anyone notice the Thunder Moon last night?

“Major orange tinge to it, had to Google what was going on as I thought it was truly the end of days!”

So what is happening in the US? Is this a sign of the world coming to an end?

Why is the Moon red tonight?

The good news is the world is not about to come to an end, so there’s no need to lose sleep over it.

But the bad news is North America is on fire and the resulting smoke and dust are affecting the Moon and Sun’s appearance.

Wildfires are raging across the central and western US, pumping smoke all across the continent.

The fires carry particles into the atmosphere that can scatter light in a way that makes the Moon look orange.

Nearly 80 wildfires are burning across 13 US states, with the Bootleg wildfire in Oregon consuming some 616 square miles of land.

The red Moon has been seen as far east as New York – more than 3,000km away from Oregon.


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Red Moon: NASA map of wildfire smoke

Wildfires across North America are dumping smoke and soot into the atmosphere (Image: NASA)

Lunar phases and the lunar cycle explained

The lunar phases and the monthly lunar cycle explained (Image: EXPRESS)

Dry conditions and record-breaking heatwaves are believed to have turned America into a tinderbox waiting to light up.

Thomas Zurbuchen, the Associate Administrator of the Science Mission Directorate, said: “Have you seen an orange hue to the Sun and Moon?

“Smoke from wildfires in central and western North America has spread across the continent – turning skies hazy hundreds of miles away in the Northeast US.”

You can see the extent of the smoke and soot wafting across the US in the NASA map above.

The smoke from wildfires typically moves to altitudes between five and 10 km high, with the winds carrying them eastwards.

Wildfires are also burning in Canada, where the same phenomenon has been observed.

One person tweeted from British Columbia in Canada: “The Full Moon looks absolutely surreal tonight.

“All the smoke from the wildfires here in BC turn it that insane orange/red colour.”

William Murphy

William Murphy

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