There's a supermoon lunar eclipse ongoing right now (Sept. 27/28, 2015), and it got me thinking that a great way to show to people why the Moon is reddish -- when eclipsed by the Earth -- would be if we have a color photograph taken from a spacecraft in the general vicinity.

Such a photo could be taken from the Moon while the Moon is being eclipsed by the Earth (which just takes some careful or lucky timing), or from any point in space opposite the Earth (between the Earth and the Earth-Sun L2 point) where the umbra of the Earth still exists. I do know that at the L2 point the Earth is not large enough to cover the Sun, so L2 is too far out, and we also need to get far enough from the Earth to be close to the distance of the Moon's orbit in order to capture the atmospheric ring of dim refracted red light.

I think if we got lucky with the timing of any of the manned lunar missions, somebody would have thought to photograph a lunar eclipse event, but it feels like if this happened, I would already have seen the photograph by now. Since it seems like we have no Apollo pictures, all I can hope for are pictures from spacecraft flybys.

Also, this would be a fantastic thing to work into the planning for the next manned lunar missions, I'm looking at you NASA. :)

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Yes, well, kind of; JAXA's Kaguya (SELENE) took images of the Earth during the February 10, 2009 penumbral lunar eclipse from lunar orbit of roughly 50 km altitude, using its HDTV camera:

  Japan's Kaguya probe caught this sight of Earth's diamond ring as the planet passed in front of the sun as seen from the lunar orbit.

Japan's Kaguya probe caught this sight of Earth's diamond ring as the planet passed in front of the sun as seen from the lunar orbit. The ring appears incomplete at the bottom, where the night-darkened limb of the moon obscures its view. Credit: JAXA/NHK. Source: Space.com

You can read a bit more in this Space.com article titled Eclipse Seen by Moon Probe as Earth Blocks Sun. And here's JAXA's video of the event as seen by the Kaguya probe:

I'm afraid that since this was a penumbral eclipse, and the Moon wasn't in Earth's umbra but in it's penumbral cone surrounding it, it doesn't help your cause of finding images of it showing Rayleigh scattering effect of the Earth's atmosphere and why the Moon appears red during umbral lunar eclipses. But, luckily, NASA Goddard prepared for us some animations explaining this effect in more detail:

You can read a bit more on this topic in What would a lunar eclipse look like from the surface of the moon?

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    $\begingroup$ Nice! But you are right, this doesn't showcase the mechanism contributing to the redness. The artist-rendition image in your last link is phenomenal, also. Now I want such a photograph even more than before! $\endgroup$ – Steven Lu Sep 28 '15 at 3:55
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    $\begingroup$ @StevenLu Yeah I didn't want to answer with "no" so I threw in a couple of the next best things. Other lunar orbiters either weren't equipped to catch such moments (LRO also experienced today's lunar eclipse, as it did a few others before, LADEE wasn't even built to "survive" an eclipse, Yutu rover is stuck and underpowered, its "mothership" Chang-e 3 probably can't tilt its mast cam so high up, and older probes all either avoided eclipses with launch dates et al. for thermals and power constraints, or again weren't equipped for it - and one does not simply point optics towards the Sun) ;) $\endgroup$ – TildalWave Sep 28 '15 at 4:03
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    $\begingroup$ I hadn't even considered how much of a tall order it is just for spacecraft to remain operational while an eclipse is underway -- seems like even though LRO has some really nice optics, design constraints have made it impossible to have it snap pictures while the eclipse was ongoing. :-\ $\endgroup$ – Steven Lu Sep 29 '15 at 16:35

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