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(Mother Nature Network)   You know how a full moon looks huge when it's near the horizon and then gradually shrinks as it rises? It's all an illusion that's in your head and not even the world's best scientists and philosophers can explain why   (mnn.com) divider line 50
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3521 clicks; posted to Main » on 06 Sep 2013 at 8:50 AM (31 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-09-06 03:30:13 AM
+1 for you subby. This was one of the most fascinating things I have ever read on Fark.
 
2013-09-06 03:40:19 AM
If by "not even the world's best scientists and philosophers can explain why" you mean "explained in every 2nd grade science textbook", then sure.
 
2013-09-06 03:56:55 AM
I already knew that. But since I'm already typing I'd like to recommend that any curious farkers head to their local college and take an astronomy class. I took one years ago to fulfill a science requirement and it was so awesome I'm thinking about taking it again for the hell of it. I learned more, saw more, and thought more than I did in any other class. Saturn's rings, drawing the full moon after exploring it with a telescope, green lasers, up all night and the instructor is as drunk as you are. God what a blast that class was.
 
2013-09-06 04:22:17 AM

violentsalvation: I already knew that. But since I'm already typing I'd like to recommend that any curious farkers head to their local college and take an astronomy class. I took one years ago to fulfill a science requirement and it was so awesome I'm thinking about taking it again for the hell of it. I learned more, saw more, and thought more than I did in any other class. Saturn's rings, drawing the full moon after exploring it with a telescope, green lasers, up all night and the instructor is as drunk as you are. God what a blast that class was.


It doesn't get much better than taking an astronomy class in southern Arizona. I took Astronomy as one of my lab science requirements just in time for Hale-Bopp's pass through the inner solar system.
 
2013-09-06 04:26:38 AM
Not subby. But I remember this being explained.

Some planetariums have had this same thing---old school planetariums that have silhouettes of buildings, trees, mountains on the horizon line and report the same perception of size of the moon projection.

The eye seeing the object (Moon) compares it to a commonly viewed feature like a mountain, building, or trees.
And perceives the 'largeness' of the object (moon) as "much bigger" visually.

When the moon is simply 'out of context' with nothing to compare with in the brain's library of size cues....it appears much smaller to the mind.
 
2013-09-06 05:40:33 AM
You're watching a weather balloon, subby, and it leaks.
 
2013-09-06 05:50:29 AM
Awesome. I had no idea...
 
2013-09-06 06:28:07 AM
Moon gets big, moon gets small. You can't explain that.
 
2013-09-06 06:51:07 AM

Abacus9: Moon gets big, moon gets small. You can't explain that.


Pinhead.
 
2013-09-06 07:46:29 AM
I know when it hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's amore.
 
2013-09-06 08:53:16 AM

grokca: I know when it hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's amore.


That's a blinding.  Hot cheese can cause serious scarring.
 
2013-09-06 08:57:48 AM
I was wondering why that dodgeball was getting bigger, and then it hit me.
 
2013-09-06 08:59:30 AM
Gravitational lensing?
 
2013-09-06 09:01:07 AM
Magnets.
 
2013-09-06 09:01:10 AM

violentsalvation: I already knew that. But since I'm already typing I'd like to recommend that any curious farkers head to their local college and take an astronomy class. I took one years ago to fulfill a science requirement and it was so awesome I'm thinking about taking it again for the hell of it. I learned more, saw more, and thought more than I did in any other class. Saturn's rings, drawing the full moon after exploring it with a telescope, green lasers, up all night and the instructor is as drunk as you are. God what a blast that class was.


But, did you get laid.?
 
2013-09-06 09:04:48 AM
i.imgur.com
 
2013-09-06 09:06:55 AM
encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com

In your head?
 
2013-09-06 09:07:39 AM
But Mars really is as big as the Moon, right?
 
2013-09-06 09:07:59 AM
The Moon is big.
Put it up next to things, it looks really big.
 
2013-09-06 09:09:06 AM
You know how a full moon looks huge when it's near the horizon and then gradually shrinks as it rises? It's all an illusion that's in your head and not even the world's best scientists and philosophers can explain why


Subby and greeny web page writer, are idiots

How stuff works: Why does the moon look so much bigger when it is near the horizon?


Bad astronomy: Why does the Moon look so huge on the horizon?

Straight Dope: Why does the moon appear bigger near the horizon?

Nasa .gov: Moon Illusion

Yeah, we're all lost on this one. No one can offer a valid explanation, and 9-11 was in inside job carried out by the alien reptilians that built the pyramids.
 
2013-09-06 09:10:16 AM
The moon is actually really small and really close. Don't tell anyone.


/shouldn't be obscure
 
2013-09-06 09:11:05 AM
cdn.mos.totalfilm.com
Mascots better than you have failed at explaining the moon size illusion!
 
2013-09-06 09:14:43 AM

Random Anonymous Blackmail: In your head?


Joeffrey?
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-09-06 09:19:49 AM

Random Anonymous Blackmail: [encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com image 259x194]

In your head?


It's an optical delusion.
 
2013-09-06 09:19:54 AM
It's time to let the horses have a go at it then.
 
2013-09-06 09:20:34 AM
ourminjae.files.wordpress.com
 
2013-09-06 09:21:04 AM
Looking at it from the other direction, if you placed the bridge in that picture straight up overhead in the sky at the same distance it would look marvelously huge.

This kind of stuff, the various illusions, is why I find witness statements to plane accidents hilarious. People report seeing all kinds of things that just don't happen.

But, viewing at an angle through water (i.e. atmosphere). ever notice how big a fish can seem in a stream until you pull it out of the water?

As for the headline, I thought the article explained the why pretty well.
 
2013-09-06 09:22:30 AM

Enigmamf: If by "not even the world's best scientists and philosophers can explain why" you mean "explained in every 2nd grade science textbook", then sure.


This. The internet is getting derpier by the day. This is io9-level dipsh*ttery.
 
2013-09-06 09:27:10 AM
Eco journalist maxi failure at science.
 
2013-09-06 09:32:53 AM
I did not read the article but it is easy.  you have to be an Obamite not to be able to understand why.
 
2013-09-06 09:33:39 AM
Ugghh.. From TFA: Pilots and sailors often see the moon illusion even when the horizon is virtually empty, suggesting foreground objects alone don't produce the phenomenon.

Ummm... I'm sure pilots and sailors are familiar enough with the horizon and what kind of distance it represents such that it becomes a foreground object for anything behind it or rising over it. In the open sky near the zenith there is nothing nearby at all to compare it to, including a horizon, and in the vastness of space around it, your mind perceives it as smaller.

You don't need to have trees or buildings or mountains or anything else against which to juxtapose it. You just need anything at all that gives even a bit of a sense of scale, and the horizon itself suffices.

So, yeah, fail article is fail.
 
2013-09-06 09:36:39 AM
febriblog.files.wordpress.com

Because it's actualy just a balloon filled with robo-racists.
 
2013-09-06 09:43:22 AM
I just thought the Earth suddenly got smaller when the moon was on the horizon.
 
2013-09-06 09:49:10 AM

OnlyM3: You know how a full moon looks huge when it's near the horizon and then gradually shrinks as it rises? It's all an illusion that's in your head and not even the world's best scientists and philosophers can explain why

Subby and greeny web page writer, are idiots

How stuff works: Why does the moon look so much bigger when it is near the horizon?


Bad astronomy: Why does the Moon look so huge on the horizon?

Straight Dope: Why does the moon appear bigger near the horizon?

Nasa .gov: Moon Illusion

Yeah, we're all lost on this one. No one can offer a valid explanation, and 9-11 was in inside job carried out by the alien reptilians that built the pyramids.


Came here to post similar. For fark's sake this is like that stupid "Mars is closest in 1500 years" crap we get every year.
 
2013-09-06 09:49:50 AM
Silly scientists:

gallery.photo.net
 
2013-09-06 09:52:15 AM
OnlyM3:
Hey, it's super-cool how more intelligent you are, knowing about this obvious thing. You've even provided sources about how unified everyone is on the answer!

How stuff works: Why does the moon look so much bigger when it is near the horizon?
So, for now, the right answer is that there is no right answer.

Straight Dope: Why does the moon appear bigger near the horizon?
This explanation is OK as far as it goes, but it's even better if we combine it (with 2 other explanations)

Nasa .gov: Moon Illusion
There are other explanations, too. It doesn't matter which is correct, though

The article you're biatching about is literally the same article as these 3. It puts out previous theories, explains the Ponzo effect, and points out the weirdness in those theories as experienced by sailors/pilots.
 
2013-09-06 09:52:16 AM
Mister Buttons:
img.fark.net

Okay, I've seen this before.  Where is it from?  I don't recall.
 
2013-09-06 09:55:49 AM
Here's one for you: the Moon actually appears larger when it's overhead than at the horizon. You can measure it.

Take an optically zoomed photo of the full moon at the Horizon. Come out and take a pic of it 6 or 18 hours later when it's directly overhead. Same camera, same settings. Head to a computer and measure the number of pixels across the Moon for each image. The overhead shot will have a larger Moon.

The reason is that you're about 3500 miles closer to the Moon when it's overhead because the Earth has swung you up there as it revolves around its axis. You're ~1.5% closer to the Moon, so it will appear ~1.5% larger in images
 
2013-09-06 09:59:52 AM

UtileDysfunktion: Mister Buttons:
[img.fark.net image 220x226]

Okay, I've seen this before.  Where is it from?  I don't recall.


It's  A Trip to the Moon, directed by Georges Méliès who was the subject of the recent film Hugo.
 
2013-09-06 10:01:29 AM

Rixel: UtileDysfunktion: Mister Buttons:
[img.fark.net image 220x226]

It's  A Trip to the Moon, directed by Georges Méliès who was the subject of the recent film Hugo.


AH!  Thanks... That was going to bug me.
 
2013-09-06 10:04:27 AM

Rixel: the recent film Hugo


The only thing I could think of while watching this movie:
Orange & Teal & Orange & Teal & Orange & Teal & Orange & Teal & Orange & Teal & Orange & Teal & Orange & Teal & Orange & Teal & Orange & Teal & Orange & Teal & Orange & Teal & Orange & Teal & Orange & Teal & Orange & Teal & Orange & Teal & Orange & Teal & Orange & Teal & Orange & Teal & Orange & Teal & Orange & Teal & Orange & Teal & Orange & Teal & Orange & Teal & Orange & Teal & Orange & Teal & Orange & Teal & Orange & Teal & Orange & Teal & Orange & Teal & Orange & Teal & Orange & Teal......
 
2013-09-06 10:18:05 AM

OnlyM3: You know how a full moon looks huge when it's near the horizon and then gradually shrinks as it rises? It's all an illusion that's in your head and not even the world's best scientists and philosophers can explain why

Subby and greeny web page writer, are idiots

How stuff works: Why does the moon look so much bigger when it is near the horizon?


Bad astronomy: Why does the Moon look so huge on the horizon?

Straight Dope: Why does the moon appear bigger near the horizon?

Nasa .gov: Moon Illusion

Yeah, we're all lost on this one. No one can offer a valid explanation, and 9-11 was in inside job carried out by the alien reptilians that built the pyramids.


from your link at nasa.gov

"When you look at the moon, rays of moonlight converge and form an image about 0.15 mm wide in the back of your eye. High moons and low moons make the same sized spot. So why does your brain think one is bigger than the other? After all these years, scientists still aren't sure why."

Go figure.
 
2013-09-06 11:08:24 AM
Except, of course, it has been explained. Our brains and optical systems are the result of mammalian natural selection; most animals don't look up at the sky so extreme focal distances like infinity aren't really figured into natural selection. Our brains get mixed signals at that focal length since our natural 'at rest' focal length is just a few paces.
 
2013-09-06 11:27:21 AM
I'd really like some advanced mathematician and or astronomer  tell me what the odds are of our planet having a moon that is precisely the right size and distance away from us to only be perceived as the "same size" as the sun, and at the same time having nondestructive gravitational influence, stable orbit, and an  orbital period that overlaps with the earth's orbit only occasionally. ( some of these are generalized I realize )

As simple as that all seems upfront, it strikes me as extremely coincidental.
There are so many other possibilities of relationships between a planet, its moons, and its star,   why we should have such a simple and elegant relationship  is interesting. Our whole solar system seems that way to me at times.
 
2013-09-06 11:47:53 AM

huntercr: I'd really like some advanced mathematician and or astronomer  tell me what the odds are of our planet having a moon that is precisely the right size and distance away from us to only be perceived as the "same size" as the sun, and at the same time having nondestructive gravitational influence, stable orbit, and an  orbital period that overlaps with the earth's orbit only occasionally. ( some of these are generalized I realize )

As simple as that all seems upfront, it strikes me as extremely coincidental.
There are so many other possibilities of relationships between a planet, its moons, and its star,   why we should have such a simple and elegant relationship  is interesting. Our whole solar system seems that way to me at times.


Eff.   Mars' moons are not destroying Mars either!   What are the odds that a moon does not destroy the planet it orbits! ! ! !
 
2013-09-06 02:05:36 PM

huntercr: I'd really like some advanced mathematician and or astronomer  tell me what the odds are of our planet having a moon that is precisely the right size and distance away from us to only be perceived as the "same size" as the sun, and at the same time having nondestructive gravitational influence, stable orbit, and an  orbital period that overlaps with the earth's orbit only occasionally. ( some of these are generalized I realize )


No one knows the odds, because no one knows how many planets and moons there are in space.
 
2013-09-06 02:22:49 PM
How many philosophers are relied on to explain scientific theories?
 
2013-09-06 03:19:37 PM

ciberido: huntercr: I'd really like some advanced mathematician and or astronomer  tell me what the odds are of our planet having a moon that is precisely the right size and distance away from us to only be perceived as the "same size" as the sun, and at the same time having nondestructive gravitational influence, stable orbit, and an  orbital period that overlaps with the earth's orbit only occasionally. ( some of these are generalized I realize )

No one knows the odds, because no one knows how many planets and moons there are in space.


Ha! Thanks for finding this. I never thought to google for it ( doh! )
I am laughing because I can't believe there's an article discussing exactly this. Oh Internet, I love you.
 
2013-09-06 04:32:07 PM

violentsalvation: I already knew that. But since I'm already typing I'd like to recommend that any curious farkers head to their local college and take an astronomy class. I took one years ago to fulfill a science requirement and it was so awesome I'm thinking about taking it again for the hell of it. I learned more, saw more, and thought more than I did in any other class. Saturn's rings, drawing the full moon after exploring it with a telescope, green lasers, up all night and the instructor is as drunk as you are. God what a blast that class was.


That's not a bad idea. I took an astronomy class 25 years ago at university and loved it. I imagine it would be even more interesting now with the advancement of our knowledge since then.

Same thing with archeology - assuming the curriculum has been updated since then.
 
2013-09-06 06:15:05 PM
 
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