Full Moon

The above photo shows the full Moon of July 24, 2010 centered directly above the ever picturesque Mount Rainier, Washington.  Photographer: Sally Budack

It was taken just before sunset some 50  miles (80  km) away in Tacoma, Washington. This snow capped composite, or stratovolcano, stands 14,411 feet (4,392 m) above sea level towering above its surroundings. It is the loftiest summit in the Cascade Range. When the Moon is near the horizon, it seems to appear larger to us than when it resides higher in the sky. This is an illusion, however. It’s no bigger when perched on the horizon than when overhead. What’s different is that at the horizon the Moon has a point of reference, and our brain processes visual information into a spatial reference frame.

via epod