Skip to comments.Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Strawberry Moon
Posted on 06/13/2014 3:54:00 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
Explanation: June's Full Moon (full phase on June 13, 0411 UT) is traditionally known as the Strawberry Moon or Rose Moon. Of course those names might also describe the appearance of this Full Moon, rising last month over the small Swedish village of Marieby. The Moon looks large in the image because the scene was captured with a long focal length lens from a place about 8 kilometers from the foreground houses. But just by eye a Full Moon rising, even on Friday the 13th, will appear to loom impossibly large near the horizon. That effect has long been recognized as the Moon Illusion. Unlike the magnification provided by a telescope or telephoto lens, the cause of the Moon illusion is still poorly understood and not explained by atmospheric optical effects, such as scattering and refraction, that produce the Moon's blushing color and ragged edge also seen in the photograph.
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[Credit & Copyright: Göran Strand]
Wow, that looks so amazing. It looks more like a science fiction painting than a real photograph.
We’re getting MOONED!
I don't think so. Just like the green flash over the ocean, you are seeing light refracting through the atmosphere...kind of like a prism effect. All the different colors represent is the particular wavelength of light.
The green *has* to be there, for the leaves, otherwise it wouldn’t look like a strawberry. Duh!
The moon illusion is a psychological effect, not an actual change in the apparent size of the moon. Refraction, atmospheric reddening and extinction cause the various effects of the moon’s ragged edge, squashed shape, and color as it rises and sets, but the moon illusion is the false perception that the moon is significantly larger when near the horizon than high overhead. The latter is entirely in your head; you can “break” the illusion by covering the moon with a finger at arm’s length. Repeat this test when the moon is crossing the meridian later in the evening. You’ll see it’s still about the same size.
If anything, the moon’s apparent size is slightly smaller on average while near the horizon due to differential atmospheric refraction at the higher limb than the lower giving it the “squashed” appearance.
I agree that the description for this one is poorly written though, it’s well understood what causes the moon illusion, even if there may be competing theories as to why it happens within the mind (though even that isn’t really too controversial I think).