Red Crescent Moon

Driving home last night I encountered a rare site: an blood red crescent moon, giant on the horizon.  The red, though rare, is easy to explain – some type of particulate matter in the air bending light.  However, the giant size is an illusion without clear explanation.  If you were to snap a photo, the moon would appear normal sized.  A discussion for those interested can be found here at

I did not arrive home in time to take my own photo, but I did find a fabulous example online.  I will be emailing the photographer for permission to use it here.

photo by Robert J. Lautner -

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4 Responses to Red Crescent Moon

  1. Kelli W says:

    i noticed the crescent moon last night and saw that it was red on the inside and more of an orange color on the outside. What does this mean? to me it was kinda cool but scary, as i have never seen this before. it reminded me of peach slice in its coloring. How often does this happen? Kelli from WI

    • John says:

      Hey Kelli from WI: Thanks.

      I think it means only that the light was being bent a little more, into orange instead of “just” red, by whatever was in the atmosphere – dust, moisture, smoke, pollution. Think of a rainbow or a prism: white light is bent into red, then orange, then yellow… green… blue… indigo… violet.

      It sounds like a very cool image. I don’t suppose you took a photo? The last time I saw a red crescent I was driving around in traffic, and by the time I got home it’d sunk below the horizon. I’m not much of a photographer anyway, so just as well. I was pleasantly surprised to see such good shots available online.

      • phillip mathews says:

        I saw one just as you describe it tonight in the weast sky in northen california in french camp ca. about 10:45 pm it was red in the midle & orange on the outer edge PM July 20 2015

  2. Jethro Odi says:

    Hey, I also saw last January, 2016, around 6:00pm, a giant-red-moon but it disappeared after a few minutes as we went up to the hill. I am so bothered about it, because it seems like i’m the only one who noticed it, and I also thought I would see some articles online about that phenomenon. It’s just that I have dream about that giant red moon again, so I tried to search about it then I saw yours. It is kinda cool and kinda creepy. Jet from the Philippines.

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