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You can see this effect on the powerline above the railroad tracks in the picture you posted too, it doesn't look straight, even though it likely was in reality! The straight line between the sun and the moon is just even more curved. Just like what you see at , like the top answer already posted. If you accept that the ...


EDIT: I am making two simplifications which still display the "anomaly". I consider the 2 dimensional case. Sunbeams (blue lines) are nearly parallel, since the Sun is so far away. At sunset the observer can see the unlit part of the Moon at the bottom, so it appears illuminated from above.


The illusion is due to the sun being so far that the difference in angles shown in the drawing would not be noticeable. Imagine two planes where both of them contain the sun and moon, the level plane would be how an observer would see the moon when both the moon and the sun were at the horizon. The tilted plane is how an observer would normally see the moon ...

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