Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I drove to the local quick stop to purchase gas for my car a $2.49 a gallon before supper. Early dusk in the November sky at 1630. To exit the village on the east side requires a steep climb up Chapman Hill and just as you crest the top at this time of year and at this hour of the day you are greeted by this enormous moon shot that appears twice, or greater than, the size of earth . Every time, I'm in awe of the spectral image before me. It's one of those fleeting images that if you are not in the right place at the right time you totally miss it. Tonight, serendipitously, I was on time for the show.

Go back in time to , say 1959, Oak street bungalow:
"Dad, the moon looks huge tonight."
" Yes it does son."
"Why does it look so huge when in a few feet or in a few minutes it shrinks back to it's usual size?"
"Look it up son."
"Jeepers dad, can't you just for once, tell me the answer instead of saying; "look it up". I'd remember it just as much, hearing it from you as I will if I go look it up.."
"You need to get into the habit of looking things up."
"Never mind, I don't want to know."
Way to go bungalow Bob!

I still don't know why it looks that huge, but It still impresses me to the max.
No! No, I'm never going to look it up. If you want to tell me though, I'll be more than willing to listen. ;-)


Blogger willow said...

And why does the moon look enormous this time of year? It's one of life's little pleasures that always amazes me, too.

9:17 PM  
Blogger Jellyhead said...

Tee hee - that sounds like an exchange I would have had with my father, too. Perhaps our fathers said that because, like us, they had no idea?!

I'll go look it up for you Rel. Back soon.

12:02 AM  
Blogger Jellyhead said...

OK. Apparently the appearance of the full moon looking larger when it is nearer the horizon, in the early evening, is an optical illusion. This is created by the fact that near the horizon, there are other objects (eg trees, buildings) to which your eyes compare the moon. Then, as the moon rises, it becomes an object in the sky with no other objects nearby, and it appear smaller. You can prove this by measuring the size of the moon at each time (eg with calipers held at a certain distance from you - though surely you could use a simple ruler too?) - the image doen't change size - just our perception of its size changes.

Are you glad someone answered your question? Or did I just ruin it all for you?!

12:16 AM  
Blogger Catch said...

I have no clue why it looks larger either.....and I dont even it truly is magical to look at! Come over and see what I got!

12:24 AM  
Blogger Remiman said...

Thanks. No you didn't ruin it. ;-)
It's an amazing sight and had corrected itself in the few miutes it took me to get to the store.
I always wanted to have such conversation with my dad. Never did, just went and looked it up.

3:55 AM  
Blogger Churlita said...

Whenever I see the moon like that, I always think, "harvest moon". Maybe that's just an Iowa thing.

4:42 PM  

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