Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Moon Not To Miss

Tonight, Wednesday - June 18th, is a great night to get a great look at the Moon. Because of a seasonal lunar optical illusion, the moon will appear to be gigantic as it rises in the sky from the horizon towards the top of the sky.

Although it looks like the moon is closer, it's really not. There are a couple of things at work here.


First, we're dealing with a pretty full solstice moon this week. You might have noticed it lighting up through your windows the last couple days.

Secondly, everything looks magnified when it's close to the horizon. Take clouds for instance. We're accustomed to looking straight up intot he sky and seeing clouds. But clouds near the horizon seem to be so far away. If you think it's hundreds of miles away, but it's not, it appears to be bigger to you.

The same thing happens with the sun, although I don't recommend that you stare straight into it. The sun seems super huge as it's rising or setting. But int he middle of day when it's overhead, it seems smaller.

The is called the Ponzo Illusion. I have no idea who Ponzo is. Maybe he's Gonzo's brother.

So check it out.

Moonrise times in the States:

New York City: 8:58 pm
St. Louis: 8:58 pm
Miami: 8:35 pm
Seattle: 9:51 pm

12 comments:

BrianAlt said...

Eh, I think it's going to be overcast. :\

The Phoenix said...

You never know...even if it is, the moon is going to be gigantic at the horizon. Maybe it won't be as cloudy there.

Jamie Dawn said...

Thanks for this heads up. I will be on the lookout for the BIG moon tonight. I wonder if anyone will moon me while I'm watching the big moon??
:-)

Karen said...

Full moon, my fav time of month.

ajooja said...

My boss had a stroke several years ago and he's completely nuts right before a full moon.

We all have calendars that denote when the moon is full just so we can dread coming to work. :)

stephanie said...

This post reminded me of Moonstruck.

"Do you love him Loretta?"

Ha.

Mr. Friendly said...

Dammit! Missed it.

Oh why, oh why don't I check the Phoenix BEFORE I leave work!

The Phoenix said...

Crap...it was too cloudy here too. I could see the light the moon was generating, but no good view of the giant moon itself.

kim said...

Thanks for the heads up - saw it last night but couldn't get a good photo of it because crap was in the way. It was large and lovely though!

jenn said...

sigh. I forgot to look for the moon. But it was totally cloudy here so I probably wouldn't have seen it had I remembered.

ObilonKenobi said...

I love that. Unfortunately I forgot to look but last night the moon was kinda big too.

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