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Once in a blue moon

Once in a blue moon, it is the third full moon of a season with four full moons — as was the case Tuesday.


A blue moon rises above Logan County as seen Tuesday evening from the parking lot of the Bellefontaine Examiner, 127 E. Chillicothe Ave. (EXAMINER PHOTO | REUBEN MEES)

It is rare for one season — say the summer of 2013 — to contain four full moons, while most other seasons only have three full moons, according to

Although there is an alternative definition of a blue moon that defines it as a single month that has two full moons, that was not the case this particular August.

Either way you look at it, the phenomena only occurs in seven of every 19 years, EarthSky reports.

I had heard it might be a blue moon and as I returned to the office Tuesday night, I noticed a blue tint around the corona of the moon so I thought I would grab a photo. What turned out was more than I expected.

Shooting on a Nikon D80 at a shutter speed of 1/80 per second and an aperture exposure of 6.3 millimeters, I captured the above image. The White balance mode was set to incandescent light and the ISO exposure setting was 1250.

I’m not sure if the phantom moon to the right of the photo — which was not visible through the lens or to the naked eye — is a reflection off a cloud in the background or what exactly is occurring. I took at least a dozen photos from around the Examiner parking lot and it appears in them all.

It’s only once in a blue moon a photographer gets one of those cool nature shots like a rainbow or a burst of lightning.

This just happens to be my blue moon.

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