Have you looked up this week to see a bright red moon or sun? Wildfires in the western U.S. are impacting the sky's colors thousands of miles away.
People from across the United States have flocked to social media this week to note the strange colors in both the daytime and nighttime skies, with the sun and moon turning a brilliant, blood red and skies grayed with haze. While the sky can appear different colors for a number of reasons, the current redness is caused by the ongoing Bootleg wildfire in Oregon.
Even as far away as New York City, thousands of miles from Oregon, the thick smoke from this extreme wildfire, which began on July 6 and has already burned 364,000 acres, according to the BBC, is clouding the skies.
UPDATE: @NOAA's #GOES17🛰️ is tracking a massive amount of #wildfire #smoke across the Pacific NW this morning. According to @ForestServiceNW, there are 14 large wildfires across 620,977 acres of the region. #AirQuality Alerts are also up for parts of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho pic.twitter.com/FQjNqvKRzZJuly 21, 2021
Red sun. Red moon. 7/20/21 pic.twitter.com/yIb9CBT8G1July 21, 2021
HOLY SMOKES...RED MOON TONIGHT! Super shocked this came out of my #SamsungS21Ultra handheld zoomed in shot!!!The fires are creating dramatic skies across the prairies#Manitoba pic.twitter.com/xo8hgWHaZUJuly 20, 2021
UMM? HELLO??? its 1am and i was taking out the trash and the moon is RED???? pic.twitter.com/xZRdArLcpXJuly 20, 2021
RED SUN: Smoke from wildfires in the western U.S. drifted across the country and into the tri-state area on Tuesday, creating a haze over New York City and causing the sun to appear red. https://t.co/BPpWuZE79z pic.twitter.com/AyR6ORlXUfJuly 21, 2021
Now, if you've seen the sun or moon looking red, it's not that these objects have actually turned color. Rather, particles in Earth's atmosphere that lies between us and the sun and moon can affect how they appear by affecting the photons of light.
Email Chelsea Gohd at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @chelsea_gohd. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.