Photo: Moon shine

Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The moon sets during sunrise at South Shelter, Admiralty and the Chilkats. Many believe the moon appears larger near the horizon than it does while higher up in the sky. "The moon ... appears big simply because it is so low on the horizon," said Jason Ginter, Marie Drake Planetarium manager. "It's actually no larger than it is high in the sky." According to Ginter, if you hold a ruler at arm's length and measure the moon at its zenith, the highest point, and near the horizon, the size won't change. "The effect is actually an optical illusion caused by seeing earthly objects next to the moon. Most people see the sky as a flattened bowl, with the zenith closer than the edges. That creates the illusion that the moon isfurther away on the horizon. Since the apparent size doesn't change, that means your brain interprets the moon as bigger."

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