The recent volcanic activity on Earth could mean that the moon will appear a particularly reddish hue of red during the lunar eclipse on Sunday, says the astronaut Ken Tapping.
The moon will move to the Earth's shadow at 7:33 p.m. PT, with the total eclipse of 8:41 a.m. at 9:43 a.m.
"The way the moon appears during an eclipse depends largely on what is happening to the Earth's atmosphere at the moment," Tapping said Thursday, who works at the radio observatory federal south of Penticton.
If the atmosphere is relatively contaminant free, the moon will turn a light color of copper, said Tapping.
In case the environment is more brutal, since Tapping said that in the news it is due to the most recent volcanic eruptions in the world, there is a better chance that the moon looks like a "red color intense, blood-colored. "
If the environment was much more polluted than usual, the moon would seem like gray gray, said Tapping.
This is the only lunar eclipse that will be visible from British Columbia this year. Until now, the climate is cooperating, as the environment Canada is predicting clear skies on Sunday.
While a lunar eclipse is primarily an opportunity for an interesting discovery, scientists can use the occasion to obtain precise readings about the speed with which the moon cools when its surface is shortened, Tapping said .
"There is a big difference between the daytime temperature of the moon about 100 C during the day to about -100 C at night," said Tapping.
Normally, the temperature drops relatively slowly when the night falls to the moon, but with an eclipse, darkness approaches much faster, he said.
"Radio observatories like ours can use a lunar eclipse to accurately measure the temperature drop in the moon," said Tapping.
"Basically, with a lunar eclipse, it is as if somebody suddenly shut off the light on the moon."
In the 1960s, when plans were made for the first lunar landing, scientists were not entirely sure if the surface of the moon would be sufficiently solid to withstand the weight of the boat or if the ship's # it sank dangerously in spraying substances.
Lowbase flybys, as well as measurements of radio observatories, helped scientists determine the surface of the moon that would support the weight of the spacecraft, Tapping said.
This month of July will celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the first lunar landing.