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July 09, 1998

The full moon rises at 8:13 p.m. this evening. If often looks yellow or even golden when very near the horizon, because white sunlight, reflected off the moon's surface, reddens as it passes through Earth's atmosphere. (The air scatters blue light while allowing wavelengths to pass through.) Moonlight travels through more atmosphere when near the horizon than when the moon is higher, so the moon whitens as it rises. The rising or setting sun is red--and sunsets are red--for the same reason.

Source: John Mosley, Griffith Observatory

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