Blue Supermoon Photography

The August 30 Blue Supermoon offer an unique opportunity that no other Supermoon has provided.

The Blue Supermoon

The upcoming August 30 supermoon is a “Blue Moon”, which refers to a second full moon in a month.  According to In the Sky, the Super Blue Moon will rise just after sunset at 7:10 p.m. EDT (2310 GMT) on Wednesday from the eastern horizon.  This will not be when it is at its biggest and brightest, however.  The exact moment of full moon is defined as the point at which it is 180 degrees from the sun, opposite our star in the sky over Earth.  For this year’s Blue Moon, the moon will be opposite the sun at 8:36 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, Aug. 30 (0336 on Aug. 31), according to NASA.  At this time, it will be in the constellation of Aquarius.  When it is at this point, this supermoon will be the closest full supermoon this year when it is 222,043 miles (357,344 km) from Earth.  The Blue Moon will then set on Thursday just before the sun rises at around 5:46 a.m. CDT (1046 GMT).  This somewhat rare occurrence will not reoccur in unit 2037.  You’ll have fourteen years before you can experience this again.  So don’t miss this rare opportunity.  The good news is the Moon also appears full in the days before and after, so if the weather doesn’t play along on the day or you miss moonrise, you can still catch a spectacular sight on the next day.  That means the Moon will appear full for 3 days around the peak of the full Moon, from Tuesday night to Friday morning.

Saturn’s Visibility

The other rare event tied to Wednesday’s blue moon is that the planet Saturn, just at the closest and brightest point for the year, along with appearing near the Moon.  As evening twilight ends (at 6:46 PM), Saturn will be 5 degrees to the upper right of the Moon and will appear to swing clockwise around the Moon as the evening progresses.  It is worth watching EarthSky’s YouTube video titled “Full Blue Moon Supermoon Near Saturn on August 30 31, 2023”.

EarthSky’s YouTube video Full Blue Moon Supermoon Near Saturn on August 30 31, 2023

Shooting Opportunities

Those of you who use PhotoPills obviously will be seeking out shooting opportunities aligning the moon with landscape features.  To refresh your PhotoPills skills to make those alignments refer to these YouTube videos.

For those that opened this post, here is the real treat.  Here are a few PhotoPill plots for the Supermoon over some Kansas City locations.

The Real Photo Opportunities

Instead of trying to focus on finding some landscape or building to position with a rising moon.  Here are a few ideas to consider that will create some great photos. 

  • Getting out into a rural area where you can utilize a long telephoto lens to supersize the moon
  • Align the rising moon along the landscape
  • Get the telescope and capture a detailed image of the moon because this is one of the brightest moons of the seasons. Here is a good blog to review and a YouTube video.

Blog: Moon photography camera settings for the ideal shot

YouTube video How to Photograph the Moon!
  • Photograph Saturn.  Here is a really good blog that you should review.

Blog: Photographing Saturn

So happy shooting and looking forward to enjoying your photographic endeavors.

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