Saturday, May 9, 2020

What the heck am I looking at?

I need Help...

From some one waaay smarter than me.

Three nights ago I went outside to look at the super moon at 4:15am – looking up from El Paso, Texas.

After a few minutes of just standing there looking up at the moon I notice a red glow rising up from the top of the full moon – it looked like flame rising up from the moon then it turns into a bright red glowing sphere behind the moon – it is only part of a sphere as it is hidden behind the moon. It lingers for a little while then fades out then it starts up again with the rising flames and then the big red glow comes into focus.

I have gone out to look up at the moon last night and the night before and the same thing – I would go out at different times – last night as soon as I looked up the glow was there – I didn't have to wait for it. - I thought it was an optical illusion so I tried to get a different perspective of the moon to see what would happen so I walked under a large tree in the yard and looked up at the moon through the branches and the leaves and damn it... the glow came in very clear – it looked like a small sun (the size of the moon) behind it – no fading in and out I could see it clearly!

So I run inside and grab my camera but the glow of the moon was too bright to get an image of the red glow... camera is a NIKON coolpix s4000.

So my question is – for some one smarter than me that knows astronomy – maybe, Pascal, can tell me what the heck am I seeing – an optical illusion, space gases, something in the atmosphere that is causing this... last night after coming back in I tried to find answers online for a couple of hours but got nothing – I did find a site where someone else was asking the same question – but no answer... what is that red glow behind the moon – it looks like an eclipse of some sort.

since I posted this I have been searching again online for an image that resembles what I see – but nothing.
I hope others here will look up wherever they are and tell me if they see the same thing – some one suggested to me through email (I posted this on my site as well) that it was an illusion caused by my eyes going out of focus for staring too long, but the problem with that is – 1. when I first looked up last night and I could clearly see it with out waiting for it to fade in and 2. when I looked up at the moon through an opening in the leaves on the tree – that eliminated a lot of the glow from the moon and I could clearly see the the red glow – it actually looks pretty awesome… I don’t know if its part of the super moon event or what and I can’t believe I can’t find an image… I can’t believe I am the only one that sees this cause it’s actually pretty cool to look at.

Best Answers -
From Mawm: Refraction of light on the red end of the spectrum by an interface between two layers of air at different temperatures. Similar to the thermocline that submarines use to hide from sonar.

From Jackson: If you had the same high winds we recently had, the red glow might be caused by dust in the air.

If it is just some form of illusion I gotta say - I am more that a bit disappointed... because it really is an awesome sight if you get a chance to view it  - and honestly I was hoping for... a big red "Death Star"... a sign of Judgement Day... ya know...


Jackson said...

If you had the same high winds we recently had, the red glow might be caused by dust in the air.

dash deringer said...

Yeah we've had high winds here - it seems that every one agrees it is an illusion caused by "whatever" is in the air... I saw it again last night - it was not quite a full moon and there were light clouds but I could still make out the red glow... Illusion or not... I will tell everyone that the secret base on the dark side of the moon exploded and they can't put out the fire... isn't that cooler than heat in the wind in the atmosphere... or whatever?

Glad you're still following this site Jackson - though I have not done anything good with it -I've been chasing dragons.

Jackson said...

I like your version of the moon glow better than dust blowing in the wind.
I do miss the rants from the iron legion days. But hope springs eternal that they'll return.
Good luck with the chase.