Distorted Sun and Green Flash

April 04, 2024


Photographer: Orazio Mezzio
Summary Authors: Orazio Mezzio; Jim Foster

This photo shows the Sun, looking like a hot air balloon, rising above the Mediterranean Sea as observed from near the Anapo Valley in Italy. It was taken approximately 1,475 ft (450 m) above sea level on December 23, 2023. The emerald green color along the Sun’s upper rim is known as a green flash. Atmospheric dispersion acts to form separate images of each spectrum color when the Sun is close to the horizon. Because green and blue light is refracted more than red and yellow light, the green light becomes concentrated and separates from the longer wavelength colors, resulting in a brief flash of green light. It's easier to see using binoculars, but make sure to always use caution when looking anywhere near the Sun, even when it's rising or setting.

Anapo Valley, Italy Coordinates: 37.1395, 15.0327

Related Links:
Mock Green Flash Observed from near Sparta, Greece
Green Flash Demonstration