Why does the Moon appear tens of times larger than it is in many photos we see on the internet? Let’s explain how the Moon is shown larger without Photoshop.

The only natural satellite of our planet, the Moon, is at least 356 thousand kilometers from the earth , even in its closest position to the Earth. The satellite, which has a diameter of 4 times smaller than our planet, takes its place as a point not very big in the huge sky when we look directly at it.

So, when we look at the photos of the Moon, why does the Moon appear tens of times larger than we normally see? Although many people think that this is due to the manipulation of the photo – and this is true for some photos – there is actually a different explanation for this.

Why does the moon look huge in photos?

The fact that the Moon appears larger in photographs is almost entirely due to the techniques used by the photographer who took the photograph in question . The position of the subject, namely the Moon, and the lens used in the camera are of great importance when taking lunar photos. How Does?

The relationship of the Moon with its surrounding objects is of great importance:

  • Both Moons are the same size. But if we only look at the Moon on the right, our consciousness is positioning the Moon larger. The buildings in the image accompany the Moon on the left.

The number one factor that is taken into account in lunar shots, other than equipment, is the position of the Moon relative to the objects around it. The position of the Moon relative to surrounding objects causes the human eye to interpret the size of the Moon differently. The moon or any subject can be perceived smaller if there are large objects around it , but larger than when placed side by side with smaller objects .

  • Ebbinghaus illusion, the orange dots are the same size.

In fact, this situation also causes the Moon to appear larger on the horizon. In this case, which has been discussed for many years, the Moon can be seen smaller in the sky when alone or next to the clouds that seem larger because it is close to us . But when the Moon is near mountains or any other object on the horizon, it can appear much larger than normal. This is called the ‘Moon illusion’.

The camera makes the magic real:

While the Moon illusion allows you to make the Moon look bigger with just your smartphone, different camera lenses can help you make the Moon look bigger without even needing this illusion . Lunar photographers prefer high focal length lenses used for long distance shots.

The focal length, expressed as ‘mm’, is one of the most decisive factors in photographing, and it expresses the distance between the area where the lights entering the camera are collected and the sensor where these lights intersect . The image narrows or widens as the distance between the sensor and the intersection area increases.

While cameras with a focal length of at least 300 mm are recommended for many people who will start moon photography, those photos that we see everywhere and show the Moon huge are usually obtained with lenses with a focal length of more than 600 mm. The difference between low and high focal length lenses can also be seen as follows:

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