Flower Supermoon Over Rome

September 14, 2021


Photographer: Gianluca Masi 

Summary Author: Gianluca Masi; Cadan Cummings

The spectacular photo above shows the Flower Supermoon rising in Rome, Italy soon after sunset. These lovely lighting conditions are due to the typical blue hour after sunset when the remaining indirect sunlight takes on a predominantly blue hue. Primarily, this bluish, cooler light is caused by light scattering and Chappuis absorption of visible light by ozone in Earth’s atmosphere. 

In contrast to the blue hour lighting, the full Moon has a more reddish and warmer hue resulting from being very low to the horizon and its light having to cross a thick layer of atmosphere. Nicknamed the “Flower” Moon, the May full Moon is named after the many flowers that bloom during the month. Adding significance to this full Moon, it was the second of two consecutive supermoons of the year when the Moon is at its closest point in its elliptical orbit to Earth (approximately 226,000 miles or 363,300 km away). In the foreground, you can also see the Mausoleum of Hadrian (aka  Castel Sant’Angelo), the Altar of the Fatherland, the Colosseum, the Pantheon’s dome, and countless other residences and buildings of Rome’s skyline. Photo taken on May 26, 2021.


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