August 19, 2008 #033 - Moon Gazing

I was awake at 3:30 am this morning. One of those times when you awake and can't find sleep again. I decided to take a walk outside as the moon, just a few days past full, was casting shadows in the yard. The sky was clear but few stars were bright enough to overcome our impressive satellite. The Big Dipper and the Queens Chair were visible in the north but the stars of the Little Dipper were hard to discern. Brilliant Jupiter had set in the west. Not a good night for anything but Lunar Walking either with a telescope or a stroll through the yard. A few hours later as I was driving to work I noticed the moon was about 35 degrees above the western horizon, again very clear and trying to compete with the sun, up for about an hour and a half. I was drawn to something that I have not noticed before. There was a distinct impression of the moon appearing three dimensional to the naked eye, much as it appears through an optical instrument. What was interesting was the fact that I didn't observe this effect during the night when the sky was monochrome. I have never seen anything in print about this effect so I speculate it may be a result of color, the bluish illumination which surrounds and colors the darker features which produces this effect. If anyone else has read anything on this, I would be interested in hearing about it.

Clear Sky - Rich

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