Lunatic Fringe – Stereo Moon by Jukka Metsavainio


“I was lying in a burned out basement… With the Full Moon in my eyes…” Hey, welcome to my world. You, know, the Full Moon has been credited to many things over the years… werewolves, disasters, fertility, accidents and even crime, suicide and mental illness. Farmers plant their crops by lunar phases and (strangely enough) I’ve even heard tale that some brokers buy and sell stocks according to phases of the Moon. While it’s more myth than fact that seeing Selene in full light has an effect on our human behavior, one thing is for certain… There’s nothing like the details you can glimpse on this distant, barren, rocky orb. Chances are, if you’re seeing two pictures, then you’re about to embark on another stereo journey thanks to the magic of Jukka Metsavaino. Are you ready to take a quarter of a million mile journey? Then let’s go…

As always, whenever we present a dimensional visualization it is done in two fashions. The first is called “Parallel Vision” and it is much like a magic eye puzzle. When you open the full size image and your eyes are the correct distance from the screen, the images will seem to merge and create a 3D effect. However, for some folks, this doesn’t work well – so Jukka has also created the “Cross Version”, where you simply cross your eyes and the images will merge, creating a central image which appears 3D. For some folks, this won’t work either… But I hope it does for you, because this image blew me away!

Full Moon Cross by JP Metsavainio
Full Moon Cross by JP Metsavainio

At 4:01 a.m. Universal Time on May 9, the Moon was officially considered “full” – the point in the lunar cycle when the Moon exactly opposes the Sun. If you wish to be technical, you could say Full Moon occurs when the geocentric apparent (ecliptic) longitudes of the Sun and Moon differ by 180 degrees. Perhaps a little more colorfully you could just say it was fully illuminated. But, no matter how you say it, the truth is that lunar effects don’t really impact human behavior, except for perhaps sparking a relationship. After all, what’s a good romance without a Full Moon?

The reality check is almost everything you hear associated with the Full Moon is myth that has been perpetuated by folklore and the media. Studies have proved that hormones don’t run any higher and babies aren’t born more frequently at this time. Women aren’t any more fertile and the only reason that more accidents and catastrophes seem to occur when our nearest astronomical neighbor is fully lit is simply because it’s more noticeable – and thereby more memorable. And when you see a Full Moon in a telescope and it looks like the image above? It will live in your memory forever!

Go on… Enjoy it for what it is – and enjoy some of the fun that myth and even astrology can give to a very normal function of our solar system. It’s “Truth or Dare Moon” when it happens in the constellation of Scorpio. In folklore the May Full Moon is called the Hare or Flower Moon… or even the Milk Moon, Dragon Moon, Planting Moon, Panther Moon, Bright Moon, Grass Moon and Worm Moon. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, it’s a favorable time of the Moon to plant beans, beets, cucumbers and potatoes – but not to go fishing. Try astronomy instead!

“Lunatic fringe… I know you’re out there.”

Many thanks to JP Metsavainio of Northern Galactic for his magical personal image and allowing us this incredible look at what we so often take for granted!

6 Replies to “Lunatic Fringe – Stereo Moon by Jukka Metsavainio”

  1. Nice one – I’d like to see it rotating now. I know, it’s tidally locked, but it looks so cool in 3D, and it looks like it should rotate…. 😉

    On the subject of a full Moon affecting human behaviour: I’ve been involved in a study (for a documentary movie), showing very clearly that it does. It needn’t have anything to do with the moon itself, though. The human mind factor just doesn’t care about physics… Consider this: For the same movie, we found that on a Friday 13th the number of freak accidents (judged by insurance claims) seems to be substantially down compared to other Fridays (and all other weekdays) – very likely because people are aware of this superstition and are taking extra care.

  2. Yet another cool 3-D image. If I simply relax the my depth of focus as though I was looking at something far away, the image is resolved as a lovely sphere. But here’s the weird thing: If I deliberately CROSS my eyes to resolve the two images, it’s like looking INTO a hemisphere painted to look like the Moon on the INSIDE!

  3. I do think the rate of crime is higher on full moon nights. Not because there is some mystic force, but simply because it’s easier to see at night with a full moon.

    Using the moon phases for farming has been done for thousands of years, and it may be more informative then the more or less arbitrary calendar we use today. After all, the “month” comes from the moon’s orbital period.

  4. I really hope there is a resurgence in the use of stereoscopic pictures instead of the bi(sometimes tri) color false 3D pictures. If you would like to convert bicolor 3d pictures into regular stereoscopic pictures, you can follow the instructions at:
    There is a wealth of 3D pictures in NASA archives waiting to be converted.

  5. Great story Tammy, but from one lunatic friend to another, it just looked like a shiny pearl in the claws of a scorpion 🙂

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