Moon Illusion: New Theory Reignites Debate Over Why Moon Appears Larger Near the HorizonSubmitted by Bob-45 on Fri, 01/18/2013 - 02:54
The ancients knew the moon looks bigger near the horizon but no theory convincingly explains the illusion. Now a new idea aims to settle the debate once and for all
One of the classic optical illusions involves the Moon, which appears larger near the horizon than overhead. This illusion has been known and discussed for centuries and yet its explanation is still hotly contested.
Today, the debate is set to reignite thanks to the work of Joseph Antonides and Toshiro Kubota at Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania. These guys have a new theory that the illusion occurs because of a contradiction between the way the brain compares distance cues from its perceptual model of the world and cues from binocular vision.