Bluish Moon and Clouds

July 31, 2004


Provided by: Jean-Marie Maillard
Summary authors & editors: Jean-Marie Maillard; Jim Foster

Tonight will be July's second full Moon, which makes it a "blue Moon." The above photo showing pearly clouds and a hint of blue about the Moon was captured near Liège, Belgium on April 1, 2004. Note the graceful iridescence of the clouds, which was sufficiently brightened by moonlight to be easily visible to the naked eye. Note also the bright white spot at the bottom of the photo is the planet Jupiter.

While the more modern definition of the "blue Moon" is the second full Moon in a given calendar month, according to the Maine Farmer's Almanac, a "blue Moon" is referred to as the 3rd full moon in a season having 4 full Moons. Tonight's full Moon is but the second full Moon this summer season (June 21 - September 22), and as is the case during most seasons, there's just 3 full Moons during this period. Thus, based on the older definition, tonight's full Moon is not a "blue Moon."

Photo details: Fuji Superia 800, 105 mm telephoto lens.

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