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snopes
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Comment: Is it possible to get a "sunburn" from the moon? I went camping
this weekend, and was outside, under a full moon for about six hours, and
could swear I had a "sunburn" the next morning. Since the moon gets it's
glow from reflecting the UV from the sun, couldn't you technically get UV
damage at night?

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Lil' Molly
Deck the Malls


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From this site:
quote:
Accordingly, moonlight is roughly 500,000 times less intense than direct sunlight, and thus has so much less sunburn-causing UV that there is no danger of "moonburn." If one assumes that a sunburn can be caused by 0.5 hours in direct sunlight, and simply scales that time by 500,000, you would have to be in the moonlight about 28.5 years without stopping to obtain the same burn.


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Mr. Billion
The First USA Noel


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Is it possible the person had obtained the sunburn the previous day? Or just has sensitive skin, and had a reaction to something while camping?

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DaGuyWitBluGlasses
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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A sleeping bag doesn't move as freely as bed sheets, the burn might be from constant friction while sleeping.

It could also be an allergic or fungal rash.

(I can't remember the name, but there is a common fungus that can look like a tan, (and often is missed by the host during the summer because it doesn't look different from the surrounding skin.)

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Bonnie
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Accordingly, moonlight is roughly 500,000 times less intense than direct sunlight, and thus has so much less sunburn-causing UV that there is no danger of "moonburn." If one assumes that a sunburn can be caused by 0.5 hours in direct sunlight, and simply scales that time by 500,000, you would have to be in the moonlight about 28.5 years without stopping to obtain the same burn.
On the other hand, I've heard that moonlight posed a real problem for members of the various Apollo missions: getting a bad moonburn was a serious offense since it constituted destruction of government property.

Bonnie "one small step for tan" Taylor

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geminilee
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I think that the figures stated were for sunlight reflected off the moon and through the Earth's atmosphere. I imagine it would be much stronger without the scattering effect of the atmosphere.

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Ganzfeld
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quote:
Originally posted by geminilee:
I think that the figures stated were for sunlight reflected off the moon and through the Earth's atmosphere. I imagine it would be much stronger without the scattering effect of the atmosphere.

Well, there is another (much much more important reason) that the astronauts on the Moon would receive much more UV from that reflected light (if your post is in response to that comment). The amount of light is inversely proportional to the distance. So if you're one meter, or even a few kilometers from the moon, the UV you get is far greater than you'd get doing a spacewalk in Earth orbit.
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hoitoider
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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Sun reflecting off the water & sand can burn you more intensely than just direct sun. As posted above, that's b/c you're only a few feet from the reflected surface, not thousands of miles.

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jimmy101
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by hoitoider:
Sun reflecting off the water & sand can burn you more intensely than just direct sun. As posted above, that's b/c you're only a few feet from the reflected surface, not thousands of miles.

The second sentence is not true. The distance from a flat reflective surface is irrelevant. Only the total distance from light source to the object it hits matters.

The only way a reflected beam can be brighter than the direct beam is if the reflective surface is concave.

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Enjal
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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I wonder if this person actually had wind burn. I've been out in strong winds and woken up the next morning with my face (only part exposed) looking quite pink and feeling a little dry and tight like it does when I've gotten a bit too much sun.

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Lydia Oh Lydia
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I've actually had sunburn appear (as in visually red and hurting) hours after getting out of the direct sunlight. It sounds weird, I know.

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Em
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by Lydia Oh Lydia:
I've actually had sunburn appear (as in visually red and hurting) hours after getting out of the direct sunlight. It sounds weird, I know.

That happens to me too. I call it my time delay skin. The redness and pain usually shows up two to three hours after I get out of the sun. I can leave the sunshine exactly the same colour I was when I started but still have enough of a burn to peel in sheets later.

Mind you, I have the type of skin which could burn at midnight on a moonless winter night while hiding under the bed. You've gotta love fish-belly white skin.

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Brad from Georgia
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I suppose that's why vampires buy so much moonblock.

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Lydia Oh Lydia
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Yep, that sounds like me. You'd think that with such fair skin, the burn would show/feel immediately.

BTW, I prefer the terms milky white or alabaster to fish-belly white. [Smile]

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Em
Happy Holly Days


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It does sound more dignified.

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