We have problems because we stray from what is innocent and pure.
Posted 09 September 2012 - 11:49 PM
I read a lot about this once. The theories I remember are: the atmosphere's refraction index is not great enough to create this phenomena. We do not perceive the sky as a perfect sphere, the horizon seems closer to us than the zenith appears, so the moon on the horizon appears closer to us and therefore larger than the moon does at its zenith.
I like Darkwind's explanation about having something to compare the moon's size to. I wonder if this would apply to moonrise in a desert?
I don't know if I buy this theory (there are more of them). Sometimes the sun appears huge at sunset, and sometimes not. What's the explanation of this phenomenon?
Coyote steals the moon when it's rising and setting and he replaces it, it's just to mess with us. Actually, I believe it's just an optical illusion due to it being closer to the horizon, if you hold a quarter out at arms length, I believe, you'll see it's the same size no matter what.
Title says all. Why moon looks bigger when is rising then when is above us?
I'll corroborate what has been mentioned before. It is an optical illusion perpetrated by our brain, which has the nifty talent of always wanting a frame of reference for visual information. The moon looks larger on the horizon because there are relatively nearby things on the horizon to compare the moon with. When it is at its high point in the sky, or azimuth, there is no frame of reference other than the stars, which our brain knows are far away - and so we get the sense that the moon is smaller and farther away. Our senses are subjective rather than objective, which is generally a good thing for our survival. we can adapt well to changing surroundings. What it makes us bad at however is recording data in situations when objectivity is needed. Objectivity in humans must be learned....its not standard equipment for us.
I saw Patrick Stewart talking about this once. He basically said it was an optical illusion. And he should know - he's the Games Master!
I was driving down the road once and I saw the moon cresting the roofs of some houses and thought it appeared giant - the biggest I'd ever seen it. But mere seconds later when I drove up over a high fly over and my view of the moon rose up so that its backdrop was away from the houses it didn't seem large at all.