Green Flash

March 10, 2004

Greenflash20021207_d60-1011to1019 copy

Provided and copyright by: Arne Danielsen
Summary authors & editors: Arne Danielsen; Jim Foster

The above image sequence of the green flash was photographed in December of 2002 off the south coast of Australia. After seeing a wonderful total solar eclipse on December 4, 2002 from Koolymilka (near Woomera), my wife and I headed back to Adelaide for a couple of days before venturing back into the outback on a safari. While watching the sunset from West Beach, we were able to see the illusive green flash for the first time. This image sequence shows how the green flash appeared and disappeared over a time span of 14 seconds (click on image to enlarge).

The green flash or ray is a refraction phenomenon, associated with the setting Sun, that results because of dispersion in the atmosphere (see the links below). It's easier to see the "flash" over water than on land, and you're likely to have more success with binoculars or with a camera having a telephoto lens than with the unaided eye.

Photo details: Hand-held Canon EOS D60 with 300mm lens at f/5.6; ISO 100; and 1/2000 seconds.

Related Links: