Fake Versus True Moon Rise

May 27, 2006

Real_moon_rise copy

Provided by: Kay Meyer
Summary authors & editors: Kay Meyer

The next time you get the chance, make an effort to see the full Moon rise. It always seems much larger rising than when overhead. These two photos show the phenomenon of the "Moon Illusion." The photo on the left shows how the Moon appeared to me (thanks to a little trick photography using "PhotoStudio"), but the camera wasn't fooled -- the photo on the right is the unaltered image. Of course, in actuality, the Moon when on the horizon and when directly overhead are both 1/2 degree in diameter. Note the reddish-pink hue around the mountains, which was likely caused by smoke from a nearby wildfire. Photo taken on February 11, 2006 from near Alameda, California.

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