A rising full moon often looks larger than it is does later in the
evening, even though its image is no larger near the horizon than
overhead. Some psychologists have suggested this optical "moon
illusion" could be due to the human eye and brain subconsciously
comparing its size to foreground objects when close to the horizon.
Prove it to yourself by holding up a pinky finger at arm’s
length and using it to totally eclipse the moon when it is near the
horizon and when it is overhead.
Nevertheless, the full moons of autumn seem magically bigger and
brighter. They rise earlier, leaving a shorter period of darkness
between sunset and moonrise.
a Full Moon
to as both the Moon
the Mid-Autumn Festival, the
moon is a
time of celebration in China. Held during the eighth full moon
the lunar year, the holiday ranks with the Chinese New Year as
major event. Moon
cakes are a favorite traditional
Moonlight is peculiarly favorable to reflection. It is a cold and dewy
light in which the vapors of the day are condensed, and though the air
is obscured by darkness, it is more clear. Lunacy must be a cold
excitement, not such insanity as a torrid sun on the brain would
In (Abraham) Rees's Cyclopedia
it is said, "The light of the moon, condensed by the best mirrors,
produces no sensible heat upon the thermometer."
The light of the moon, sufficient though it is for the pensive walker,
and not disproportionate to the inner light we have, is very inferior
in quantity and intensity to that of the sun.'
The Cyclopedia says that Dr. Hooke has calculated that "it would
require 104,368 full moons to give a light and heat equal to that of
the sun at noon," and Dr. Smith says, "The light of the full moon is
but equal to a 90,900th part of the common light of the day, when the
sun is hidden by a cloud ."
But the moon is not to be judged alone by the quantity of light she
sends us, but also by her influence on the earth. No thinker can afford
to overlook the influence of the moon any more than the astronomer can.
"The moon gravitates towards the earth, and the earth reciprocally
towards the moon." This statement of the astronomer would be bald and
meaningless, if it were not in fact a symbolical expression of the
value of all lunar influence on man. Even the astronomer admits that
"the notion of the moon's influence on terrestrial things was confirmed
by her manifest effect upon the ocean," but is not the poet who walks
by night conscious of a tide in his thought which is to be referred to
lunar influence, in which the ocean within him over-flows its shores
and bathes the dry land?' Has he not his spring-tides and his
neap-tides, the former sometimes combining with the winds of heaven to
produce those memorable high tides of the calendar which leave their
marks for ages, when all Broad Street is submerged, and incalculable
damage is done to the ordinary shipping of the mind.
says : "It is remarkable, that the moon during the week in which
she is full in harvest, rises sooner after sun-setting than she does in
any other full moon week in the year. By doing so she affords an
immediate supply of light after sunset, which is very beneficial to the
farmers for reaping and gathering in the fruits of the earth ; and
therefore they distinguish this full moon from all the others in the
year, by calling it the harvest moon."
On, Harvest Moon (1939)
"Shine on, shine on
February, June or July
no time to stay
shine on harvest moon
to "Shine On, Harvest
by Nora Bayes and Jack Norworth, 1903
Harvest Moon Tin Sign