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APOD: 2024 March 11 ┴ A Full Plankton Moon
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APOD: 2024 March 11 ┴ A Full Plankton Moon
Credit & Copyright: Petr Hor÷lek / Institute of Physics in Opava
Explanation: What glows in the night? This night featured a combination of usual and unusual glows. Perhaps the most usual glow was from the Moon, a potentially familiar object. The full Moon's nearly vertical descent results from the observer being near Earth's equator. As the Moon sets, air and aerosols in Earth's atmosphere preferentially scatter out blue light, making the Sun-reflecting satellite appear reddish when near the horizon. Perhaps the most unusual glow was from the bioluminescent plankton, likely less familiar objects. These microscopic creatures glow blue, it is thought, primarily to surprise and deter predators. In this case, the glow was caused primarily by plankton-containing waves crashing onto the beach. The image was taken on Soneva Fushi Island, Maldives just over one year ago.

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
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Based on Astronomy Picture Of the Day

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