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Is perception reality? Our brains make the Moon shrink and swell at will. Learn the truth behind the famous Moon illusion in this expert article!.
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Scientists say that large moon is an illusion, a trick your brain is playing. Your brain automatically compares the moon to these reference points. That is, a low moon often appears red or orange in color. That reddish color is not an illusion.

The atmosphere filters out the bluer wavelengths of white moonlight which is really reflected sunlight. Meanwhile, it allows the red component of moonlight to travel straight through to your eyes. So a low moon is likely to look red or orange to you. How do people get those photos of extra big moons seen near a horizon? More photography tips: Super moon photography.

What is the moon illusion?

Bottom line: A full moon, in particular, might look big seen near a horizon. But all full moons seen near a horizon look big, due to a psychological effect called the moon illusion. Can you tell me the full moon names? Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. As with other visual phenomena, it is possible that no single variable can adequately explain the moon illusion.

Instead, it is possible that many different factors might play a role.

Why does the moon look so much bigger when it is near the horizon?

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More in Theories. Color: When the moon appears red due to smoke or dust in the air , it appears larger. Those who live in rural areas may notice this effect during harvest season when the horizon is often clouded with dust and other particulates.

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Moon Illusion definition | Psychology Glossary |

Atmospheric Perspective: When it is hazy or smoky outside, the moon appears larger on the horizon. After a forest fire or on a day when it seems particularly smoggy, you might notice that the moon illusion seems more pronounced. Visual Factors: Convergence of the eyes when viewing things on the horizon also causes objects to appear larger.

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What are your concerns? Article Sources. Baird, J. Kaufman, L.

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The Moon Illusion. Plug, C. Perception, 23,