The rise of the Blue Moon Tuesday was at 7:27 pm and the sunset was at 7:56 pm. The timing of the moonrise with the setting sun meant that the moon would rise up in the sky over Washington during the “blue hour” which is the period of time when the sky transitions from light blue to black.
Related: The “alternative” Blue Moon
The blue hour occurs during twilight and is an optimal time for photography. Ian Livingston, in a past CWG post, stated, “the blue hour provides a photographer the ideal combination of natural and man-made light for giving an image warmth and depth. These qualities are much harder to obtain once the sky goes black.”
The blue hour was really about 30 minutes on Tuesday and it was only the first 15 minutes that was truly optimal for photography. I suppose the “blue hour” sounds better than the “blue 30 minutes.”
There is no absolute time for the blue hour. It varies by season and latitude. For example, when I was shooting Big Ben in London several weeks ago, the blue hour was almost a full hour.
Also, the sky needs to be fairly clear to observe blue conditions during twilight. I found that cloud cover during twilight can produce various shades of color that include red, pink, gray, and magenta.
In Washington, the moonrise tonight is at 8:03 pm. This means the blue moon will appear on the horizon during the optimal time for photography, about the time the sky has a light shade of blue. As the moon rises above the horizon over Washington the sky will quickly transition to black. Of course, this is provided we don’t have cloud cover this evening which is a possibility.
Included in this post are photos from our readers showing shots of the blue moon from various locations in the Washington area. Does anyone plan to shoot the blue moon tonight?
Here are some more Blue Moon photos…
From Capital Weather Gang’s Ian Livingston:
— Ganesh Kumar (@gankp) August 21, 2013