The Green Flash

green flashThe "green flash" is not a superhero, but an optical phenomenon more talked about than seen.
The truth is the green flash does exist and its cause is well understood. Just as the setting Sun disappears completely from view, a last glimmer appears startlingly green... The effect is typically visible only from locations with a low, distant horizon, and lasts just a few seconds... the effect is caused by layers of the Earth's atmosphere acting like a prism.

There is a gallery of photos in Wikipedia; the one embedded above comes from the archives of Astronomy Picture of the Day, a wonderful source for photos of both astronomical and atmospheric phenomena.


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I've wanted to see it for years, but something always goes wrong. The closest I got was a near perfect condition- a clear day by the beach. I kept a close eye on the sun as it vanished below the horizon- and someone walked in front of me at the crucial moment.
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I took a photo of several people seeing the green flash. Did I see it? No - I was looking the other way taking a photo of friends watching the sunset.
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