Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Eye in the sky...

The ring around the Moon (seen here last night in the California desert) is caused by the refraction of moonlight (reflected sunlight) from ice crystals in the upper atmosphere. The shape of the ice crystals creates in an illusion to us Earthers: the light appears to us in the form of a ring (even though light is being refracted every which way).

It's always jarring to remember that what we see is only one tiny perspectival sliver of all the reflected light around us. Have a look at a hologram (there's probably one on your license). This will give you a cartoony sense of the three dimensional matrix of possible light reflections that defy our subjective point of view.


Anonymous Hone said...

Damn... now that perception is going to make it very difficult for me as an painter. I may have to switch my style to something akin to Seurat.

I did see a full eclipse of the sun once, a different ring of light - a ring of fire. It was a life perception changing moment. It suddenly became very clear, the big flat moon up there was in fact a very big rock with monumental mass.

8:21 AM  

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