Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tonight's Moon Illusion

Source via the Angry Astronomer

Tonight, the moon will seem especially large;

"The moon illusion, as it's known, is a trick in our minds that makes the moon seem bigger when it's near the horizon. The effect is most pronounced at full moon."


"The reason, according to NASA, lies in lunar mechanics: The sun and full moon are like kids on a see-saw; when one is high, the other is low. This week's high solstice sun gives us a low, horizon-hugging moon and a strong, long-lasting version of the illusion."

source; Philip Plait, Bad Astronomy

Read Robert Roy Britt's full story at
Check your local moon and sun settings at the US Naval observatory site



Blogger Mike said...

This is so amazing. The moon looks so close when this happens it hard to believe it is over 200,000 miles away.

7:28 PM  
Blogger Ingrid said...

you just reminded me..I better check to see when we can see it here.. I know that when I saw the moon over Saudi Arabia yeaaars ago, it was really odd seeing it wax and wane 'sideways'.. I grew up in the Northern Hemisphere so seeing it from that vantage point 'felt' different. When my mom visits from the Netherlands, she can't help but mention each time that the moon looks so much farther away where she lives (I live in Austin TX).. I think it's neat if you can see it from different viewpoints, literally. It makes you remember that there is something far bigger than your own little world..
thanks for visiting Mike (don't get too many 'new' people so I 'have' to acknowledge that lol)

7:34 PM  

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