Solstice Moon

Today Dot and Mae want to remind you to go outside Wednesday (June 18th) at sunset and see the Solstice Moon Illusion. Dot and Mae found this information on NASA’s website – they can’t wait to see the giant moon (although to them the moon always looks pretty giant!)


Above: The full moon rising over Manchester, Maryland. Credit: Edmund E. Kasaitis.

June 16 , 2008: Sometimes you just can’t believe your eyes. This week is one of those times.

On Wednesday night, June 18th, step outside at sunset and look around. You’ll see a giant form rising in the east. At first glance it looks like the full Moon. It has craters and seas and the face of a man, but this “moon” is strangely inflated. It’s huge!

You’ve just experienced the Moon Illusion.

If you go to the NASA website it explains several theories as to why we see a giant moon on this night. It’s quite fascinating! They also have this suggestion:

A fun activity: Look at the Moon directly and then through a narrow opening of some kind. For example, ‘pinch’ the moon between your thumb and forefinger or view it through a cardboard tube, which hides the foreground terrain. Can you make the optical illusion vanish?

If you plan to try to see the moon, here is a chart from NASA that lists the moonrise time over a few select cities. If you don’t live near one of these cities, you can ask your parents to help you look up Moonrise times for the area that you live in.

City Time
June 17 June 18 June 19
New York, NY


8:07 p.m.
8:58 p.m.
9:41 p.m.
San Diego, CA


7:37 p.m.
8:28 p.m.
9:13 p.m.
Washington, DC


8:13 p.m.
9:03 p.m.
9:47 p.m.
Honolulu, HI


6:53 p.m.
7:44 p.m.
8:31 p.m.
Chicago, IL


8:09 p.m.
8:59 p.m.
9:42 p.m.
Houston, TX


7:58 p.m.
8:49 p.m.
9:35 p.m.
Denver, CO


8:12 p.m.
9:02 p.m.
9:45 p.m.
Miami, FL


7:43 p.m.
8:35 p.m.
9:22 p.m.
Seattle, WA


9:02 p.m.
9:51 p.m.
10:30 p.m.
Anchorage, AK


12:30 a.m.
1:04 a.m.
1:15 a.m.
Augusta, ME


8:06 p.m.
8:57 p.m.
9:39 p.m.

Have fun and take some photos if you can – Dot and Mae will try to take some and post them too!

2 thoughts on “Solstice Moon

  1. Sandra

    So which Moon Illusion theory do Dot and Mae prefer? I think I need them to explain oculomotor micropsia/macropsia! We tried to get some moon pictures, but Mount Tabor was in the way!

  2. Narrator Post author

    Dot and Mae think magic makes the moon bigger – so it’s really very simple! :) It was too cloudy for them to get any moon pictures, so they are quite disapointed!


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