Is your mind playing tricks on you when the moon appears to change sizes?

Weather For Kids

Is your brain playing tricks on you when you see the moon on the horizon?

More fun facts about the moon in this episode of Weather for Kids.

Is the moon really bigger when you see it on the horizon compared to when it is high in the sky at night? It does look that way at times. It is actually a trick that your brain is playing on you. It is no bigger when it is on the horizon compared to when it is high in the sky at night.

Big structures can make the moon look bigger. They are close and the moon is far away. This will make the moon look larger. Big machines or city skylines are some examples that may make it look bigger. A mountain range is another.

Here are a few ways you can test that the moon is the same size throughout the night.

  1. Hold your index finger out and place it beside the moon. The moon should be around the same size as your fingernail. Go out later that night when the moon is higher in the sky and looks small and do it again. The moon should be about the size of your fingernail.
  2. Look through a paper tube, like a cardboard paper roll from paper towels or toilet paper. The moon will look much smaller through the tube.
  3. Bend over and look back between your legs. Seriously! Give it a try. It really works. The moon will look smaller compared to your view on the horizon.
  4. Take a picture on the horizon. Don’t change your zoom or settings and take another later in the night when the moon is higher. It should be the same size in both pictures.

We won’t have another full moon until early June. Give this a try the next time you see a big moon on the horizon.

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