The idiot is back.

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Can someone answer a question for me please. Why do the Sun and Moon appear larger just when they are rising or setting than at any other time? See I told you the idiot is back, I know very well this is a stupid question but I would still like to know the answer.
Original post

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I wondered about this some time ago and turned to the internet and found this. It seems that there is no clear explanation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon_illusion
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Village idiots answer. "Well it is closer to the ground then"
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Wouldn't it be nice to have a thread where we can ask stupid questions,and not be told off for being idiotic ? I recently had a streaming cold,which prompted me to ask,where on earth is all that stuff being made ? And every time I go to Brighton I have to go through the South Downs,shouldn't they really be the South Ups ? This is what happens when old gits like myself and my exact contemporary,Mr. C,have too much time on their hands and access to a computer.
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And every time I go to Brighton I have to go through the South Downs,shouldn't they really be the South Ups ? .
I gave a lift to one of our foreign students a couple of years back to save him the 'pleasure' of friday afternoon london trains ...he quite reasonably asked why are they called the south downs when they go up ?? I had no idea of course :D His other question was 'can we visit an english tea shoppe on the way '?,so i took him to one with waitresses wearing short skirts...he seemed happy enough then LOL The 'Downs' answer is apparently...
There may be some confusion about these things called "Downs", when they are, unmistakably, up. Well, the origin of the word is the Anglo-Saxon dun - meaning hill. Lots of duns make Downs.
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I subscribe to the "point of reference" theory. (#3)
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You haven't let me down baz,it seems that whatever question is asked,someone on the forum knows the answer. Whilst I'm here Why do flies and bumblebees bang their heads against a window that's actually open ? Anyone know ?

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You haven't let me down baz,it seems that whatever question is asked,someone on the forum knows the answer. Whilst I'm here Why do flies and bumblebees bang their heads against a window that's actually open ? Anyone know ?
Birds too. That's funny. And men. Do a you tube on "Streaker - Epic fail". You will laugh at the situation and more so at the laugh of the cameraman. Like a Dog that can see its target through a fence.....won't run 6 feet left or right to get through a gate. Fly's and Moths go round a lightbulb because they are attracted to the light. WRONG. They still do it when it's off. Redidual heat? Nope, they do it when it's stone cold. Maybe they circle round in anticipation of it coming on, and like to be first to land. A Fly's "Musical Chairs". erm, I'm way outside the box and over the left hand Horizon again. Time for bed.
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Can someone answer a question for me please. Why do the Sun and Moon appear larger just when they are rising or setting than at any other time? See I told you the idiot is back, I know very well this is a stupid question but I would still like to know the answer.
It's just an illusion.:D

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16 years 2 months

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Village idiots answer. "Well it is closer to the ground then"
:D:D That's the kind of answer I give.

Member for

16 years 2 months

Posts: 8,505

Wouldn't it be nice to have a thread where we can ask stupid questions,and not be told off for being idiotic ? I recently had a streaming cold,which prompted me to ask,where on earth is all that stuff being made ? And every time I go to Brighton I have to go through the South Downs,shouldn't they really be the South Ups ? This is what happens when old gits like myself and my exact contemporary,Mr. C,have too much time on their hands and access to a computer.
Hey watch it you or it'll be a duel with feather dusters at 25 paces.

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16 years 2 months

Posts: 8,505

Birds too. That's funny. And men. Do a you tube on "Streaker - Epic fail". You will laugh at the situation and more so at the laugh of the cameraman. Like a Dog that can see its target through a fence.....won't run 6 feet left or right to get through a gate. Fly's and Moths go round a lightbulb because they are attracted to the light. WRONG. They still do it when it's off. Redidual heat? Nope, they do it when it's stone cold. Maybe they circle round in anticipation of it coming on, and like to be first to land. A Fly's "Musical Chairs". erm, I'm way outside the box and over the left hand Horizon again. Time for bed.
The stills of this were in the papers over the weekend. Yes Anna thank you, kindly leave the room. I am well aware that it's an illusion. I want to know why it happens not what it is.:D
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:D Easy, it is all to do with the eyes and Brain .

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16 years 2 months

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What brain?
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Got your answer then. LMAO :D:D
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I guess this is the answer to the first question then. "The Moon's orbit is an ellipse with the Earth at one of the foci, and it obeys Kepler's Laws in the same way that planets do. Perigee is the point in its orbit when it is closest to the Earth and at this time the Moon will appear largest in the sky. At apogee the Moon is at its furthest from the Earth and appears smallest in the sky." The webpage has an illustration if your really interested. http://www.nmm.ac.uk/gcse-astronomy/sun-and-moon/moon-movement/the-moon's-movement I guess the earth moves around the sun in the same fashion so it creates the same effect. I thought it was kinda obvious. I never took any classes about the planet and only visited the Edinburgh Observatory once. Clearly must have made an impression. lol.

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Your explanation would only make sense if the moon's orbit took 12 hours, but it doesn't, it takes just under 28 days. Therefore the difference between the perigree and the apogee is about 14 days. As posted earlier there seems to be no clear explanation, other than it is an illusion. "For over 100 years, research on the Moon illusion has been conducted by vision scientists who invariably have been psychologists specializing in human perception. After reviewing the many different explanations in their 2002 book The Mystery of the Moon Illusion, Ross and Plug conclude "No single theory has emerged victorious".[5] The same conclusion is reached in the 1989 book, The Moon Illusion edited by Hershenson, which offers about 24 chapters written by different illusion researchers."
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Merlin your statement makes no sense at all, this is the difference in size at perigee and apogee, as you can see not a great difference. http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v714/Bruggen/320px-Lunar_perigee_apogee.png What you seem to be saying is that the moon on the horizon is bigger because it's closer to the earth, well if I'm at point A with the moon on the horizon and somebody else is at point B 400 miles closer in a straight line to the moon then the moon at point B will be well above the horizon, and by your reckoning smaller, so why does it look bigger to me at point A :D sorry but it's like sky high and flygirl say, just an illusion.

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One of the theories is that it is to do with light refraction. Apparently there is a magnifying effect if the viewing angle is quite shallow, ie looking through more atmosphere. A good theory (thanks QI) is that as a result of this refraction, the sun appears to move slower as it sets, and ACTUALLy sinks below the horizon before the viewer perceives it. In short, this means that you can still see the complete sun AFTER it has sunk below the geometric horizon.

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I'm sure this question was asked on the radio last week, I would guess Simon Mayo on Radio 2, probably in the "homework sucks" section. Had a quick look but can't find previous answers, maybe someone else knows how to find them?
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I can Google with the best of 'em,so here's an explanation from a site called Windows to the universe - Why does the moon or the sun look bigger at the horizon than when overhead? Two effects cause the Sun and Moon to seem bigger near the horizon. One is an optical illusion - these objects seem larger because you have trees, buildings, etc. to compare them to. The other effect is due to the fact that near the horizon, the light of the Sun or Moon is passing through more atmosphere than at higher altitudes. Imagine yourself standing on the surface of the Earth, with the atmosphere as a sphere around the Earth, centered at the Earth's center. The distance through the atmosphere above you *must* be shorter than the distance through the atmosphere to either side (the horizons). The refraction, or bending, of the light of the Sun and Moon by the atmosphere is therefore greater at the horizon. More refraction means the more spreading out of light and so they appear larger. No, I don't understand it either. But they're selling jewellery on the website,so it was worth looking.