Authors: Yongfeng Yang
The mystery of the Moon illusion is still unsolved, even though various explanations have been offered over thousands of years. Here it is proposed that the illusion may be ascribed to an unusual optical atmospheric effect. The considerably thick spherical atmosphere may form a natural convex lens to converge light rays, which leads to the situation that the light rays from the Moon are greatly compressed inward before they reach an Earthly observer, and thereby the size of the retinal (camera) image of the Moon is diminished. The difference of the optical path in the atmosphere results in the effect that the image size of the horizontal Moon is diminished much more than that of the zenithal Moon, but inversely, the geometry of optics yields a larger enlargement for the horizontal Moon than for the zenithal Moon when they are observed back into the sky.
Comments: 13 Pages. 5 figures
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