Make plans to moongaze Saturday night

On Saturday night, June 30th, step outside at sunset and look around. You’ll see a giant moon rising in the east. It looks like Earth’s moon with the usual craters and seas, but something’s wrong. The full moon is strangely inflated. It’s huge! You’ve just experienced the Moon-Illusion.

Sky watchers have known for thousands of years that low-hanging moons look unnaturally big. Camera’s don’t see it but human eyes do; it’s a genuine illusion.

This weekend’s full moon hangs lower in the sky than any other full moon of the year so the Moon-Illusion is going to be strong. So, what makes the moon so low? Consider the following: The sun and full moon lie on opposite sides of the sky. They are like a see-saw: when one is high, the other is low. Because the summer solstice was just last week (June 21), the sun is near its highest point in northern sky. The full moon is correspondingly low.

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This post was written by qni_it on June 29, 2007

8 Comments so far

  1. Anonymous June 29, 2007 2:17 AM

    Hope we have a clear night to see it.

  2. Rockford's Weather Leader June 29, 2007 3:23 AM

    I wouldn’t leave you all hanging like that! I only point out the cool stuff when WE get to see them. 🙂 Enjoy! -ERIC

  3. Rockford's Weather Leader June 29, 2007 3:23 AM

    I wouldn’t leave you all hanging like that! I only point out the cool stuff when WE get to see them. 🙂 Enjoy! -ERIC

  4. Rockford's Weather Leader June 29, 2007 3:23 AM

    I wouldn’t leave you all hanging like that! I only point out the cool stuff when WE get to see them. 🙂 Enjoy! -ERIC

  5. Rockford's Weather Leader June 29, 2007 3:23 AM

    I wouldn’t leave you all hanging like that! I only point out the cool stuff when WE get to see them. 🙂 Enjoy! -ERIC

  6. Justin June 29, 2007 3:32 AM

    Alright well if we go out saturday night and its cloudy, I’ll be the first one complaining. Or I’ll just go to your house and pound on your door and demand an answer for why I dont see the moon.

    =P

  7. Jim July 1, 2007 2:55 AM

    Well, no good look at the moon tonight, just enough clouds to block it. It’s almost ten now and still have a hard time seeing the moon, but I don’t think it is as big anymore as it supposedly was.

    oh well! You never know what the weather will do! That’s what makes it so fun and interesting!

  8. Anonymous July 1, 2007 5:00 AM

    *ring ring*

    me: hello
    my friend: hey! what are you up to?
    me: I’m trying to find the moon!
    my friend: um…up?
    me: nooo! its gonna be huge!

    later that evening
    me: hey what are you up to?
    my friend: now i am looking for the moon!

    hahaha….but no such luck, too many clouds~

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