To this day, an orange moon is an image that amazes many people. Among other things, an orange moon is also known as a blood moon. This celestial spectacle takes place at regular intervals and is a unique experience.
The phenomenon was already known in earlier cultures, so people tried to explain the color change of the moon. Many exciting mythologies emerged from this.
How does an orange moon come about?
If the moon changes its original whitish color to an orange hue, there is a physical phenomenon behind it.
The incoming sunlight is reflected by the surface of the moon and is thus radiated back into the earth's atmosphere. This procedure is also known in physics as the law of reflection.
Once there, there is an interplay with the air molecules, which ensure that the light is scattered.
As a result, fewer bluish parts of the light return from the atmosphere, so the moon appears redder. However, this does not mean that the moon itself changes colour, we just perceive less light.
This principle also causes sunsets.
What is the meaning of an orange moon?
As already explained, an orange moon is caused by the scattering effect that emanates from the earth's atmosphere. When the moon is high in the sky, the distance is closer, so the moon appears white and bright. This is because light interacts less with the Earth's atmosphere.
When the moon is in a horizontal position, the light travels a much further distance. More bluish parts of the light are then lost over this long distance, so that the moon appears much redder in the horizontal position.
Because the moon appears much larger on the horizon than it does far up in the sky, the orange moon phenomenon becomes even more apparent. This is an optical illusion as the human eye perceives objects close to the moon, such as houses or landscapes, and automatically perceives them to be far smaller in size.
Orange Moon – Mythology
In mythology, the orange moon is also often referred to as the blood moon. Before science explained the phenomenon of the blood moon based on the refraction of sunlight, there were other exciting versions in mythology that explain the orange moon.
Different countries had different stories about the orange moon.
The Teutons there was the myth of the wolves Skalli and Hati, both chasing through the sky to capture the moon and the sun. If one of the two wolves should bite the moon, the moon's spurting blood will eclipse the sun, leaving the world in darkness forever. The orange moon thus served as a warning sign before the end of the world.
The The Japanese went there were actually afraid that the orange moon would poison their drinking water. So they covered all the wells and water bodies for fear of dying from the poisoned water. While the Japanese thought the moon was poisoned, the Greeks suspected that witches would turn the moon blood red.
In ancient Egyptthe blood-red moon was both a myth and a very sinister omen. The blood-red colored moon was supposed to represent the eye of the sky god Horus, who was observing mankind and threatening evil.
The southern Americans explained the orange moon as follows:
Wild animals would bite the moon, so that it would begin to close blossoms. There was great fear among the Americans that the animals would leave the sky and seek their next victims among humans.
The Indians believed that the moon lacked light, which is why they shot arrows of fire into the sky to give the moon new light again. There was also a myth that the moon changes its gender when it turns orange.
Dragons have had a high cultural significance among the Chinese for many years. They had the misconception that a dragon wanted to eat the moon in order to rob people of their light. They celebrated loud festivals to scare away the dragon so that it would leave the moon.