Home > Concepts, Ephemeris Program > 02/19/2019 – Ephemeris – The Moon ain’t just super near the horizon

02/19/2019 – Ephemeris – The Moon ain’t just super near the horizon

February 19, 2019

Ephemeris for Tuesday, February 19th. Today the Sun will be up for 10 hours and 39 minutes, setting at 6:16, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:35. The Moon, at full today, will rise at 6:28 this evening.

Tonight we will have a super full Moon. It will be the closest full moon of the year, not that you could really tell. The full moon, or waning moon looks large near the horizon when it’s rising. The same is true of waxing moons setting. The same is true of sunrises and sunsets. However if you look closely at the rising or setting Moon or Sun right at the horizon you will notice that it appears a bit squashed. This is due to atmospheric refraction or bending of the light which makes the them appear higher in the sky than they actually are. It is most pronounced near the horizon. In fact by the time the Sun appears to touch the horizon, it is already completely below the horizon, and would appear be if we didn’t have an atmosphere.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.


Suashed Moon at moonrise

The Moon just after moonrise 1 day past full. The Moon appears squashed vertically by about 10% compared to circumscribed circle. Credit Eileen Carlisle.

Atmospheric Refraction

How the atmosphere bends the light of the Sun or Moon rising or setting to appear higher than it actually is. Credit Francisco Javier Blanco González, 2017


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