The Kitt Peak Virtual Tour

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Sunlight is reflected from the three mirror heliostat (upper left) to the 1.6 m concave mirror (lower right), then the 1.5 m mirror (center) to the observation room below.

Fact

The sun appears to be larger when rising or setting then when viewed overhead. This same effect is easier to see with the moon. Since neither the sun nor the moon is actually changing in size, there must be another explanation.

Question

Why does the sun look larger at sunrise and sunset than at other times of the day?

Here's the reason

 

 

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NOAO is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), Inc. under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. The Kitt Peak Virtual Tour is developed and maintained by the NOAO Educational Outreach Office.

Copyright © 1999 The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. All Rights Reserved.