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©2000 by Richard Nolle


WOW!JAN 10, 2000 - The Moon Illusion Explained may be just what you're looking for, if you've ever wondered why the Moon appears so much larger when near the horizon (e.g. rising or setting) than when it's high in the sky. There are a couple of theories currently en vogue which attempt to solve this age-old conundrum. In The Moon Illusion Explained, Professor Don McCready advocates the oculomotor micropsia explanation - easy for him to say - but also summarizes (and dismisses) a rival rationale, the apparent distance theory. Both theories are well and, I think, fairly described by McCready in depth, in a treatment that is grounded in scholarship without being too technical. In other words, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to get a handle on what Professor McCready is saying here - and there's not one equation to choke up on, if you suffer from math anxiety. As well as I can summarize it in a sentence - and you owe it to yourself to read the Professor's clear and illustrated presentation notwithstanding - the deal is that the focus and convergence of the eyes is the cause of the optical illusion which makes the Moon look larger at the horizon than at the zenith.

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