Friday, July 10, 2009

Harvest Moon

Have you ever noticed that the moon looks bigger and more colorful than usual??

How you ever watched the amazing rise or set for a big reddish moon? Was it really bigger than usual?

Bigger moons in the sky are a very usual phenomenon that most of as watched multiple times but rarely questions for the reasons!!

Amazingly enough; this phenomenon has no well defined reason!! It was commonly thought that this is an optical illusions where the moon looks bigger than usual when it is low in the sky where trees and buildings can be in the foreground making the mind establish a comparison, that yields to viewing it to be bigger than usual.

Yet recent researches show that bigger moons also looks bigger if you view it from a plane in the sky, where nothing in the foreground or the background but clouds!

Harvest moons are a special case of bigger moons, it obtained its name from old tradition to use nights with harvest moons to continue working in fields after sun set, the reason for that is that harvest moons rise in sky very shortly after sun-set giving enough light to continue whatever work you were doing, old civilizations used this opportunity and named it harvest moon.

But what makes a harvest moon looks reddish? The fact that the moon at this period looks lower in the sky makes its light travels longer distance in our earth atmosphere circles, which distracts larger amounts of its light of different colors, yet red color component always travels straight ahead to your eyes giving it the distinguished red color for harvest moons.

One of the amazing facts about harvest moons is that it provide enough light that will enable you to view a book clearly, yet you won't be able to read a single word inside although the book will seem having enough light !! the reason is in the nature of light received its self that the eye can't utilize to distinguish characters !!

Living in a crowded city, you may never watch a harvest moon and could fully test those facts, lucky me, I witnessed a harvest moon while living in the desert and could watch the amazing huge reddish moon face enlightening the black space in the desert.


Nour said...

Welcome back :)

freeSoul said...

Nour !! the sweet romantic voice from the past :)

Thanks, and you welcome back here too :)