The Target in the Celestial (Moon) Illusion

Charles F. Reed, Elizabeth A. Krupinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The visual conditions sufficient to produce the celestial (moon) illusion do not produce it for all presumably suitable celestial targets. For most observers, the illusion is complete for the moon: Apparent visual angle and apparent physical size are inverse functions of elevation, but apparent distance is a direct function. These features of the illusion are attenuated for star clusters and absent for star pairs. Although, in accordance with modern theories of the illusion, the visual terrain may be necessary for the celestial illusion, it is not sufficient; the visual target itself apparently must display particular features.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-256
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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