Tagged: Earth

The moon illusion

Have you noticed how the full moon looks bigger on the horizon than high overhead? Actually, the two images are exactly the same size — so why do we perceive them differently? Scientists aren’t sure, but there are plenty of intriguing theories. Andrew Vanden Heuvel unravels the details of focus, distance and proportion that contribute to this mystifying optical illusion.

Night lights in Europe

This animation is made up of two images of Europe at night showing lights from sources in cities and along roads in 1992 and 2010. Bright areas highly correlate with high population density – such as the densely populated cities like London, Paris and Rome. Coastal areas are also more populated than inland regions, making the outline of Europe clearly visible in these night images.