The rising sun is divided by the Washington Monument

Twice a year, the Washington Monument bisects the rising sun when viewed from the Netherlands Carillon. It occurs within a few days of the spring and fall equinox and it’s a beautiful scene, but the weather conditions have to be perfect for finest viewing.

Clouds and fog often create beautiful colors across the sky at sunrise, but clouds and fog also hide the sun’s shape and accurate position in the sky. A clear sky is needed to see the sun cut across the Washington Monument.

But if the atmosphere is too clear and dry, the rising sun is too bright to photograph cleanly after it rises over the horizon. So, for optimal photography, there is a fine weather balance required of a cloudless or generally cloudless sky, with just a touch of haze and humidity in the air to tone down the brightness of the sun.