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SpecialistMichael
SpecialistMichael, MS, CSCS
Category: General
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Experience:  Senior Information Specialist
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The moon looks bigger when it first rises. I have been told

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The moon looks bigger when it first rises. I have been told this is due to a variant of the doppler effect. Is this true?

FitnessSpecialist :

I will be switching us to standard format as it appears you are offline.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Couldn't see answer.
Mr. Mason, thank you for your question - sorry for the delays, I had to build the answer in a different format.

There are a myriad of theories(many conflicting) as to why the moon appears larger to the human eye when lower on the horizon. Obviously we know the difference of the moon's distance the the human on the ground is relatively the same, with up to one earth's atmosphere(which is relatively small) in distance, but it actually appears larger when its closer to the horizon. The other reason it appears difference is because of refractive light that makes it appear slightly shorter in height, probably creating a relative difference making it look "fatter". We know the distance is only that difference and we know from distance of the moon, the amount of light refracted is different. The other theories are hard to quantify.

If you were to use something like a dime, and hold the dime at arms length when the moon looks bigger as well as smaller you would find it is merely an optical illusion and there would be no real difference relative to the size of the dime.

I had the same question, until it was explained to me by a scientist in school, that is merely a situation of a slight distance difference with a difference in light refraction that makes a big visual difference.

Mike
Thank you for taking the time to rate.

There has been a format change in which a "posted answer" happens when we exit from chat. The switch to standard format was not your answer.

In case you didn't get it, I will repost it below so you can have the information you requested in your question.

Please remember to rate this information as it is the information that actually answers the question you asked :)

Regards,
Mike
As promised here is your answer Smile and the information that answers your question.

There are a myriad of theories(many conflicting) as to why the moon appears larger to the human eye when lower on the horizon. Obviously we know the difference of the moon's distance the the human on the ground is relatively the same, with up to one earth's atmosphere(which is relatively small) in distance, but it actually appears larger when its closer to the horizon. The other reason it appears difference is because of refractive light that makes it appear slightly shorter in height, probably creating a relative difference making it look "fatter". We know the distance is only that difference and we know from distance of the moon, the amount of light refracted is different. The other theories are hard to quantify.

If you were to use something like a dime, and hold the dime at arms length when the moon looks bigger as well as smaller you would find it is merely an optical illusion and there would be no real difference relative to the size of the dime.

I had the same question, until it was explained to me by a scientist in school, that is merely a situation of a slight distance difference with a difference in light refraction that makes a big visual difference.

Mike
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