The Green Flash Over the Setting Sun

By: Amir H. Abolfath


Region: Middle East

Site: Zagros Mountains - Iran

Spot: Mount Dinava

Date: September 2011

Imaged through a telescope this photo of the setting sun over Zagros Mountains of Iran shows the refracted deformed view of the sun right at the horizon. There are few sunspots visible but more interesting is a little green light at the top of the solar disc. Difficult to observe, the momentary green flash above the rising or setting sun has been documented as a phenomenon caused by the atmospheric bending or refraction of sunlight. Like a weak prism, the Earth's atmosphere breaks white sunlight into colors, bending red colors slightly and green and blue colors through increasingly larger angles. When the sky is clear, a green flash just above the sun's edge can sometimes be seen for a second or so, when the sun is close to a distant horizon. Amir Abolfath -

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