Super blue moon lights the night sky

The super blue moon rises over Bramlage Coliseum in the eastern sky on August 30. The super blue moon appeared red in color during its accent into the night sky. (Carter Schaffer | Collegian Media Group)

A bright red moon peeked from beyond the eastern horizon Wednesday evening, illuminating the city below as the sun took its dip in the west. The super blue moon was not literally blue, but it did come closer to Earth and it marked the second full moon of the month.

Bharat Ratra, professor at Kansas State and American Astronomical Society fellow, said the moon can be closer or further away because of its oval-shaped orbit around Earth.

“When it’s close by at a full moon, it appears a bit bigger and I think it might’ve been about 15% bigger than when it’s further away,” Ratra said.

Ratra said small particles cause the moon’s red coloration when it’s near the horizon by scattering blue light.

“When you have dust of certain size, it scares the blue light away from you and it lets the red light come through,” Ratra said. “Especially when the moon’s kind of low down near the horizon, it has to travel through a much longer distance from the atmosphere. The light covers more distance and so there’s more chance for the blue light to be scattered out.”

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Editor’s note: The photo of the moon with Bill Snyder Family Stadium and Bramlage Coliseum have been altered. Each photo has two photos layered on top of each other — one with the moon visible and one with the building visible — to make the moon and building visible at once.

I'm Carter Schaffer, the editor-in-chief of the Collegian. Previously I wrote for the news desk and did some photo/video work. I am a senior in mass communications with an emphasis in journalism, and I hope to work in news or video production one day. I've also interned at The Well News in Washington, D.C., through TFAS. I grew up in Andover, Kansas, home of the Andover Trojans, and I've been a Wildcat all my life.