Hyderabad: A message along with beautiful pictures of two Suns is being circulated on WhatsApp for the past few days, claiming that “Today… on the border between the United States and Canada, two Suns emerged, one being the real sun and the other the moon. This phenomenon is known as Moon Hunters and happens when earth changes axis. The moon and sun are born at the same time and the moon reflects the brightness of the sun with such intensity that it looks like a second sun.
Share! So beautiful!!!
Though this message is viral on WhatsApp now, it originated years ago. Reverse image search indicates that it has been in circulation since 2015 and also has been proved to be a fake one.
Firstly, let’s try to find the definition of the term Hunter’s Moon.
Also known as “blood” moon, the term “Hunters Moon” is used traditionally to refer to a full moon that appears in October. It is preceded by the appearance of a “Harvest Moon”, which is the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox (which falls on September 22 or 23).
Though Hunter’s Moon is a genuine celestial term, it has nothing to do with the two suns illusion.
There can be more than one explanation for such an illusion-the photograph can easily be explained by any of the following –
– One is a phenomenon called Anthelion. When sunshine is high and snow crystals in the air reflect the sunshine, anthelion or reflections of the sun forms on both sides. This appears in very rare situations and when the temperature is below -30C.
– Another phenomenon is a sun dog (sundog) or mock sun, formally called a parhelion in meteorology. It is an atmospheric optical phenomenon that consists of a bright spot on one or both sides of the Sun. Two sun dogs often flank the Sun within a 22° halo.
– It can also be a clear scattering or refraction or reflection of light on the lens of the camera causing bright spots, passed off as ‘another sun’
– Some of the photographs may have been manipulated to trick the viewers into believing that two suns did appear simultaneously.
No matter which phenomenon, it is not two suns we see in these photographs. Moon can never be seen as bright as it can reflect only from 3 to 12 % of the sun’s rays. And this phenomenon is NOT called Hunter’s Moon.
When searched, no media reports have been found about any such phenomenon occurring in skies hovering over USA and Canada in recent times. This claim of two suns appearing in the sky is FALSE.