warm glow? The answer lies in the fascinating interaction of the moon’s light with Earth’s atmosphere, and the magic of visible light wavelengths.

We’ll delve into the realm of color and light to grasp this captivating spectacle.
Visible Light and Wavelengths

Visible light, the light perceivable by the human eye, is a spectrum of different colors, each associated with a specific wavelength. It’s like an orchestra of colors, each with its unique note, ranging from 400 to 700 nanometers (nm). The shorter wavelengths sing in blues and violets, including the blue light and violet light, while the longer wavelengths hum in beautiful reds and oranges.


Ever pondered why the sky is blue or why sunsets drape the sky in shades of red and orange? This is the enchanting role these wavelengths play. As sunlight hits our atmosphere, it is scattered in all directions. The shorter wavelengths, like blue and violet, are scattered more compared to the longer wavelengths like red and orange. Hence, when the sun is overhead during the day, the sky appears blue.
Earth’s Atmosphere and Scattering

Earth’s atmosphere acts like a giant prism, scattering light in different directions. Shorter wavelengths of light, like blue and violet, are scattered in various directions. In contrast, longer wavelengths, such as red and orange, are less affected, making their way through the atmosphere with relative ease.

When the moon is near the horizon, the moon appears orange as it seems dimmer to us. This is because its light has to travel through a larger portion of the Earth’s atmosphere. This extended atmospheric travel filters out the shorter wavelengths, allowing the longer red and orange wavelengths to reach our eyes, attributing the moon its enchanting orange hue.