The Green Flash

Photographed from cruise ship MS Zaandam, west of Baja California, Mexico

The green flash is an atmospheric phenomenon during which the upper edge of the sun appears to turn a green color in the last seconds before it slips beneath the horizon at sunset. This is due to atmospheric refration of the sunlight, which is stronger for the green and blue portions of the spectrum. In some cases, as seen in this photo, this green upper edge of the sun appears to detach and "float" above the horizon for an instant. To increase your odds of seeing the green flash, you will need very clear and transparent skies, a sharp horizon (such as the ocean), a high vantage point (such as a cliff or the upper deck of a cruise ship) ... and luck!


Photo details:
Date and time: April 1, 2024, 6:29 pm
Camera: Nikon CoolPix B500 digital
Focal length: 40X optical zoom lens at 160mm (cropped)
Aperture: f/16
Shutter speed: 1/1500 sec
ISO: 800

Revised: April 20, 2024
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