The Elusive Green Flash at Sunset

Original Photographs by Michael Myers

Here is a guide to visualizing the Green Flash at Sunset. It is there if you know where and when to look.
It is termed a "flash" in the sense that it appears for only a flash in time. You will not see a green flashbulb go off.

As you can see in this series of five telescopic photos, the atmosphere casts a green edge around the setting sun in the final seconds before it disappears below the horizon.

You cannot see this green edge with your naked eye because the brightness of the sun obscures it.
But just after the sun disappears, the green edge is all that is left and is visible for only a fraction of a second.

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Here is an animation made from the series from which the above photos were taken. It was taken off the west coast of Costa Rica. A cool sailboat went through in the middle.



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Here is another animation made from stills that shows you don't need a horizon to see the green flash (this one is very subtle):

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Here are crops from the above sequence. These four photos were all taken in less than 2 seconds. In the next frame (not shown) it was gone, showing how brief the phenomena really is:

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