Bad astronomy

I asked my colleague, Randy Bell, about a phenomenon in which the Earth’s moon looks larger when it’s near the horizon than when it is overhead. He explained and referred me to a chapter in a nifty book called “Bad Astronomy” that debunks some popular misconceptions about this phenomenon. Then I came upon the Bad Astronomy Web site, which is maintained by the author, Phil Plait. It’s a real treat. Athough a good bit of the site and accompanying blog are given over to debunking of misconceptions (a needed activity), there’s lots more at the site. Check it. (It even turns out that Professor Plait was affiliated with U.Va.—my employer—as a graduate student.)

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