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Science can mislead you? YES: the moon illusion

It is often said that our senses and basic reasoning are misleading but science is OK. I give an example where the opposite is true.
In popular science the moon illusion is often described as a "2000 year old mystery" yet to be adequately solved. It is also often repeated that science is superior to our senses and everyday understanding (see B.Greene The fabric of the cosmos). the message here is that we should preferably turn to science to understand the world.

The moon illusion is the observation that the moon appears larger on the horizon than it does at the zenith and a large amount of academic research has tried to explain the basis of the illusion.

Absolutely incredibly all of this research appears to rest on a geometrical fallacy.

Ask anyone" "Is the moon closer on the horizon than overhead" what is you answer? A simple geometrical diagram shows that it is further away on the horizon than it is overhead (about 7000 km). More to the point the light from the moon when overhead travels through about 80 km of atmosphere but when it is on the horizon it travels through about 1100 km of atmosphere.

It is a simple matter to explain the illusion form these facts (scattering of light).

Check out the moon-illusion images on google to verify that at the highest level of scientific research the above error is present.


"scattering of light" has 'Misled' us ? 02.Jan.2018 18:34

the human brain interprets the horizon moon as being much farther away than the elevated moon. Information gathered by the eye is processed in the brain to give a percept that does not tally with objective physical measurement of the stimulus source. Astronomical refraction of the moon's image lower on horizon with additional atmosphere distance/"thickness" to travel through also contributes to the illusion.

Additionally, refraction near the horizon is highly variable, principally due to variability of the temperature gradient near the Earth's surface and the geometric sensitivity of the nearly horizontal rays to this variability. (Therefore, one's perception of the moon's "bigness" near the horizon _can vary_ according to season and locality weather/temperature.)

Still science.



Explained 100% the phenomenon.

( what's your next post, informing us the manned moonlanding missions were "faked"? No, DO NOT post about that topic and forget I mentioned it ... )

Moon Landing Was Faked. 02.Jan.2018 21:01

Red X Society

...The Atmospheric effect is Magnification. The same reason a person with Coke Bottle Bottom Glasses are thicker.

If the Moon Landing wasn't "Faked"? ...Tell me why a $600 Dollar Camera can take a photo like this, but the Hubble Space telescope has never taken pictures of the equipment left behind by the Apollo Missions?


Moon Landings Faked? Filmmaker Says Not! 02.Jan.2018 21:42


TM, please watch the below linked video.

Six manned landing sites, as well as Luna and Surveyor unmanned probe landings (  http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LRO/multimedia/moonimg_07.html ), on the moon have been well documented (  http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LRO/multimedia/moonimg_07.html ), on the moon have been well documented (  link to www.spaceflightinsider.com ) in Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter imagery.

lots of other and better fwiw things to 100% waste your precious time left here on Earth than a pre-internet 'Capricorn One' fantasy.

6 manned lunar landing missions ACTUALLY _DID_ OCCUR.

Dear Moon Video 03.Jan.2018 15:14

Red X Society

...Close your eyes ...and recite, "There's no place like Home, There's no place like Home."

TM / Red X Did you watch the Video? 03.Jan.2018 19:24


you might learn something.

just sayin'

" the most unscientific thing in the world is science " 03.Jan.2018 19:27


oh I agree science isn't perfect. Great thing about it though:
all of its hypotheses have to be proven and borne out by actual real world results / data.

otherwise the hypothesis/theory gets left on the trash heap of homo sapiens cultural history.

just like Capricorn One.

Dear just sayin' 03.Jan.2018 19:52

The Red 'X' Society

You tell me. Did you watch the video?

The scale of current production optical devices should allow you to see clear images of all Earthly remains of Human activity on the surface of the Moon. NASA came out with some BS Photoshopped versions of what were said to be Man's footprints on the Moon, that would have encompassed about 10 steps over 20 miles of terrain.

If you want the real story, find out when NASA and the Science community bumped up the speed od Radio communication to the speed of light, when Audio technology always requires a delay in transmission. They did this to quell the cries of the Public about how Radio Communications and responses between the Apollo Crew and Ground control were instantaneous.

Not True... Even on Earth, there is a delay in communications, and certainly there was in 1969.


"Did you watch the video" you obviously DID NOT. 03.Jan.2018 22:43


based on camera, film and electronic communication/display technologies available in circa 1968-72

it is outright impossible, for the six manned moonlandings to have been "faked". That is the content of the Video (btw Video Author does not absolutely affirm that there were actual manned moonlandings, only that they can not possibly have been faked...), which you still need to watch.

RE: [quote] " cries of the Public about how Radio Communications and responses were instantaneous "

the 'public' was "crying" back in 1969-72 about how Apollo base-to-mission transmissions were purportedly "instantaneous" ?


Where precisely are the "cries from the public"







about transmission times in NASA-Apollo communications.

We're waiting for the documented 1969-to-1972-dated print articles/recordings.

No, no we're not.

I'm done here.

Watch and comprehend the video (before wasting any more of your life's precious breath on Capricorn One).

Confusing the question 04.Jan.2018 07:38

Mike Novack

The "moon illusion" is how the moon APPEARS to our eyes/brain, not the geometry of the situation. The SCIENCE questions you need to ask is how our eyes/brain perceive objects when we have a background of other objects or not and whether our head is horizontal or tipped way back.

The former you can test by comparing the appearance of the full moon when rising through the trees to when viewed at sea, no particular background objects to give reference.

The latter by comparing the view when at sea when rising to the view at sea when high overhead.