Cosmic Ray Blues – The Bloody Moon

Cosmic Ray Blues - The Bloody Moon

A lunar eclipse provides a wonderful photographic opportunity to capture spectacular images of a blood orange Moon.

It also provides mainstream science with a wonderful story teller opportunity with a narrative based upon the refraction of light by dust and clouds in the Earth’s atmosphere.

The Moon does not completely disappear as it passes through the umbra because of the refraction of sunlight by the Earth’s atmosphere into the shadow cone; if the Earth had no atmosphere, the Moon would be completely dark during an 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.

Volcanoes are notable for expelling large quantities of dust into the atmosphere, and a large eruption shortly before an eclipse can have a large effect on the resulting color.

Lunar eclipses also provides mainstream artists with a wonderful opportunity to illustrate the mainstream narrative based upon the refraction of light by dust and clouds in the Earth’s atmosphere.


Schematic diagram of the shadow cast by the Earth. Within the central umbra shadow, the Moon is totally shielded from direct illumination by the Sun.

However, illustrating a lunar eclipse is not an easy task because of the large numbers involved.

The Sun, for example, has a diameter of 1,392,684 kilometres while the Earth has a much smaller diameter of 12,742 kilometres and the Moon clocks in with a tiny diameter of 3,474 kilometres.

Additionally, the quoted distance between the Sun and the Earth is usually rounded to 149,600,000 kilometres while the quoted Earth to Moon distance varies from 363,295 to 405,503 kilometres.

The net effect of this scaling challenge is that the angles in any illustration can be wildly misleading if the illustration is not drawn to scale.

The Wikipedia illustration, for example, employs wildly misleading angles which cause the relative sizes of the umbra and penumbra to be misrepresented.

A back of a fag packet calculation, for example, indicates that a 25 degree angle in the Wikipedia illustration should actually be around 0.53 degrees.

Eclipse Geometry

The back of a fag packet calculation can be easily checked online.

Lunar Eclipse - Angle Calculation

Carbide Depot – Technical Resources

This, in turn, causes the Wikipedia illustration to visually misrepresent the relative durations of the lunar eclipse events.

Eclipse Timings

Another peculiarity of the Wikipedia illustration is that it carefully avoids depicting the refraction of light in the Earth’s atmosphere.

This is not surprising.

The mainstream explanation that the “shorter wavelengths are more likely to be scattered” so that “the longer wavelengths dominate” the lunar eclipse spectrum seems to be a very large stretch of the imagination.

Not only does the mainstream have to rely upon eliminating Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet but they also have to stretch the remaining spectrum to cover over three and a half hours of the umbra eclipse.

Eclipse Spectrum

This stretching of the spectral imagination also requires pure red to be dropped from the spectrum so it can be replaced by a blood orange colour.

Lunar Eclipse Sequence

Furthermore, the spectral order has to change so that the white light illuminating the moon is initially refracted into orange before the red tones appear to make the blood orange moon.

Blood Orange Moon

Clearly, the mainstream story of the blood orange lunar eclipse has to be filed under fiction.

However, based upon established mainstream science the true story of the blood orange lunar eclipse can be pieced together.

Firstly, the Earth has a magnetosphere.

A magnetosphere is the area of space near an astronomical object in which charged particles are controlled by that object’s magnetic field.

Near the surface of the object, the magnetic field lines resemble those of a magnetic dipole.

Farther away from the surface, the field lines are significantly distorted by electric currents flowing in the plasma (e.g. in ionosphere or solar wind).

Earth's Magnetosphere

Secondly, the Moon passes through the Earth’s magnetosphere during the Full Moon period [which encompasses all lunar eclipses].

“Earth’s magnetotail extends well beyond the orbit of the Moon and, once a month, the Moon orbits through it,” says Tim Stubbs, a University of Maryland scientist working at the Goddard Space Flight Center.

“This can have consequences ranging from lunar ‘dust storms’ to electrostatic discharges.”

Anyone can tell when the Moon is inside the magnetotail.

Just look: “If the Moon is full, it is inside the magnetotail,” says Stubbs.

“The Moon enters the magnetotail three days before it is full and takes about six days to cross and exit on the other side.”

Earth’s Magnetic Field Does Strange Things to the Moon

Thirdly, during the lunar transit through the Earth’s magnetosphere the Moon is peppered with electrons so that the lunar surface becomes negatively charged.

It is during those six days that strange things can happen.

During the crossing, the Moon comes in contact with a gigantic “plasma sheet” of hot charged particles trapped in the tail.

The lightest and most mobile of these particles, electrons, pepper the Moon’s surface and give the Moon a negative charge.

Earth’s Magnetic Field Does Strange Things to the Moon

Fourthly, the Moon is known to have a sodium exosphere which is blown by the solar wind to form an extensive Sodium Tail.

Lunar Sodium Tail

Therefore, it is highly likely that the Moon’s sodium exosphere will fluoresce [just like a sodium lamp] when it is bombarded with electrons for the Earth’s magnetosphere during a lunar eclipse.

Unsurprisingly, when a sodium light is powering up we initially observe the same blood orange colours of the lunar eclipse [image 4c below].

Sodium Lamp Spectrum

The spectrum of high pressure sodium lights changes too!

When the lamp is just on, there are several bright spectrum lines including yellow sodium at 589nm (4c).

In a few seconds as the light gets brighter, the yellow line becomes wider, and a thin dark gap emerges at the center (4d, 4e).

After the lamp stablizes, cooler sodium vapor absorbs light at 589nm, and we see a thick gap (4f, 4b).

Note the camera settings for (4c–f) are the same.

Jerry Xiaojin Zhu ‘s astronomy and atmospheric phenomena website

The presence of sodium in the lunar exosphere is confirmed when the spectrum of Earthshine is compared to the spectrum of Earth light.

Earthshine [reflected from the Moon] clearly displays the blood orange absorption bands of sodium from the dark side of the moon.

Earthshine Spectrum versus Solar Spectrum

Earth Light and Moon Earthshine spectra

Moon’s Reflected ‘Earthshine’ May Aid Search for Alien Life

Therefore, it is not surprising that the Moon displays a sporadic ring of fluorescent red and orange during a total solar eclipse.

Solar Eclipse 1999

Total Solar eclipse 1999 in France with additional noise reduction performed by Diliff.
Image: Luc Viatour –

The insight that the blood orange moon is caused be electron bombardment via the Earth’s magnetosphere provides a wonderful counterpoint to the mainstream narration that accompanies the following time lapse imagery of the 15th June 2011 lunar eclipse.

1:00 into the replay we see charge intensity fluctuations in the plasma sheet in the magnetosphere as “the full moon suffers a bizarre series of distorted phases, but then, it’s usually followed by a total eclipse that is not black but red”.

1:15 into the replay clearly shows white, dark grey and orange banding which suggests the dark grey band may represent a central neutral ring in the Earth’s magnetosphere.

2:00 into the replay it is noted that “the eclipse moon doesn’t have to be red. It can be pale pink, or beige, or can even vanish altogether”.

Therefore, the colour of a particular lunar eclipse will depend upon the charge level in the Earth’s magnetosphere and the alignment of the moon with the magnetosphere’s electron core.

3:40 into the replay we discover that if the colour of the eclipse hadn’t been normal it would have all been our fault. Luckily, “we have learnt that the report card on out planet’s environmental health earned us an ‘A’.“

Lunar Eclipse still image

The mainstream clearly has all the parts of the lunar eclipse jigsaw puzzle but appears to prefer their fictional narrative because it excludes electrical charge.

This style of mainstream storytelling is well past it’s sell by date.

It’s time for the mainstream to get plugged in before the audience really starts to giggle.

Gallery | This entry was posted in Astrophysics, Cosmic Rays, Earth, Inventions & Deceptions, Moon, Science, Solar System. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Cosmic Ray Blues – The Bloody Moon

  1. A C Osborn says:

    I am beginning to wonder if anything in Science on Wiki can be taken at face value.
    You really do come up with the most interesting of Scientific studies, thank you very much.

  2. Pingback: Cosmic Ray Blues – Seeing Scintillating White Dwarfs | MalagaBay

  3. Pingback: Malaga Orange Moon – 21st March 2014 00:06 CET | MalagaBay

  4. Pingback: Protecting Lunar Archaeology | MalagaBay

  5. geran says:

    I just happened to catch the lunar eclipse back in April. It was the first time I had ever witnessed the alignment. It was about 2:00-3:00 am CST here in US. It was a perfectly clear night.

    I wish I had seen your post before viewing because, just from observation, I doubted the “scattering” theory. Here is what I noticed:

    As Earth’s shadow moved across the Moon, there was no change in color. The area receiving sunlight appeared the same as on any clear night. But, the remainder of the surface was darkened (still visible) but had no color. As the shadow moved more and more onto the Moon, the “normal” area decreased and the shadowed area increased, but there was still no change in color. About the time the shadow completely covered the Moon, the surface began to glow with the red/orange color. It appeared to be almost an instantaneous change to the red/orange.

    So, how could scattering produce such a sudden change?

    Now, I have to report several problems with my observations:
    I was only using hand-held binoculars.
    I was not prepared for the harsh wind chill and had to go inside repeatedly to warm up. I actually missed the “instantaneous” color change, but just suspected it, as it happened in less than a few minutes.
    I was not prepared to look for anything other than the “conventional thinking”
    I had no good way to take decent photos.

    I hope to do much better in October, weather permitting.

    Any suggestions as to what to look for?

  6. malagabay says:

    Simple: keep your eyes and your mind open…
    and take some photographs if you can.
    Good luck in October…
    I looking forward to reading your comments.

    PS: The days each side of a Full Moon can be very interesting.

  7. Gerard Zonus says:

    I have a question not directly related with moon eclipse but you may have some understanding:
    If the moon reflects exactly the sun spectrum, then the blue photons part of the spectrum should scatter in the atmosphere during the night (assuming a perfect dark night sky). Why don’t we see a bluish light during the night, the equivalent of a blue sky during the day ?

  8. malagabay says:

    That’s a question for the NASA Space Cadets
    And you might also like to ask them:
    Why aren’t the stars at night sunset colours at the horizon?

    If you are interested in other possibilities then the following might be helpful:

  9. Pingback: The Atomic Comet: Neutron Bombs | MalagaBay

  10. Reflected light is polarized?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.