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Thread: Red atomsphere-less moon

  1. #1 Red atomsphere-less moon 
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    Hey guys,

    I would like to know if it is possible to have a red moon. I know that red soil indicates a high content of iron oxide, but if the satelite has no atmosphere how could the iron oxigenate (or is it oxidise?)? Is there another scientifically sound way that the moon could be red?

    Kind regards,

    Adrian :)


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  3. #2  
    Time Lord
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    There's lots of oxygen in the Moon's soil. It's actually the most abundant component.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regolith#On_the_Moon



    (from the Moon Base thread http://www.thescienceforum.com/Priva...ase-30615t.php )

    I don't know if that oxygen would be free enough to interact with iron or not, however, or why it doesn't create iron oxide already, given that iron is the third most abundant element.


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  4. #3 Re: Red atomsphere-less moon 
    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajax83
    I would like to know if it is possible to have a red moon. I know that red soil indicates a high content of iron oxide, but if the satelite has no atmosphere how could the iron oxigenate (or is it oxidise?)? Is there another scientifically sound way that the moon could be red?
    Yes, like during a lunar eclipse.






    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_eclipse
    The red coloring arises because sunlight reaching the Moon must pass through a long and dense layer of the Earth’s atmosphere, where it is scattered. Shorter wavelengths are more likely to be scattered by the air molecules and 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. This is the same effect that causes sunsets and sunrises to turn the sky a reddish color; an alternative way of considering the problem is to realize that, as viewed from the Moon, the Sun would appear to be setting (or rising) behind the Earth.

    The amount of refracted light depends on the amount of dust or clouds in the atmosphere; this also controls how much light is scattered. In general, the dustier the atmosphere, the more that other wavelengths of light will be removed (compared to red light), leaving the resulting light a deeper red color. This causes the resulting coppery-red hue of the Moon to vary from one eclipse to the next.
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  5. #4 Re: Red atomsphere-less moon 
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Yes, like during a lunar eclipse.
    Yes, I have read this article. I should have been more specific; I am looking for a scientifically plausible way for a moon's soil to be red.

    So if one was to land on the moon they would essentually be standing on ground that looks like the Australian Outback.

    Of course, if an optical illusion such as the lunar eclipse is sustainable all year round then I'll take that too.

    Thank you kindly for your post,

    Adrian :)
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  6. #5  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Io.
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Io.
    Io is yellow.
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  8. #7  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Reddish yellow. The lunar eclipse photos are more orange.
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  9. #8  
    Comet Dust Collector Moderator
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    Every eclipse has it's own unique color and brightness, depending on how deeply into the umbra the moon's path is, and the state of the atmosphere around the rim of the earth from the moon's perspective.
    MW
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  10. #9  
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    The moon could have had an atmosphere at one time.

    Some other molecules are red as well, some lead oxides for example.
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    The moon could have had an atmosphere at one time.

    Some other molecules are red as well, some lead oxides for example.
    So let's say that we are standing on the palent that my fictional red moon orbits and you asked me why is it red.

    Could I say it's because the soil is high in lead oxide?
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