Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Moon setting over Victoria

With apologies to Ansel Adams, who once saw the moon rise over Hernandez, New Mexico, I saw the moon setting over Victoria the other morning from my bedroom window and I couldn't resist shooting my own version. (Click on the pic to see a larger version on my Flickr site.)

I always like it when the sun rises just as the moon sets. But my favourite time of the year is late summer, when we get those enormous harvest moons poking up on the horizon, just as the sun sets in the west. It's magical.

Did you know that the moon is part of one of the world's most-viewed optical illusions? The next time you see a large moon rising in the east, when it looks so large, hold up your hand and measure the size of the moon. It's usually about the size of your thumbnail, or a dime. Then try it again when it's directly overhead and it looks so much smaller. You'll be surprised to find out that it's actually the same size. There's something about its proximity to the horizon that makes it seem larger. I used to think the view was magnified by the atmosphere but I was wrong. It's just an illusion.

UPDATE - Here's the link to the Wikipedia article about the moon illusion

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