Man oh man, I just love viewing and taking pics of sky phenomenon that sound like superheroes.
"Honey.. I'm going out to try and capture the "Green Flash". See, there is something about saying that. I have made it my goal to try and capture these elusive/seldom seen phenomenon the last couple months, and finally did.
There is only about a couple months I have to do it, you have to have a true horizon and in my area the Sun only sets on a true flat horizon December and parts of January. If you don't have a true horizon the green flash happens behind a hill or the grade of the landscape. You see, when you are looking at the Sun on the horizon, you aren't, you are looking at the apparent Sun, the real Sun is actually below the horizon but due to atmosphere refraction the real Sun is bent up, much in the same way when you put a straw in a glass of water, the medium, water, bends or refracts the straw, you see two straws , the actual and the apparent straw.
Everything in the sky, the sky being the medium, is bent to a degree, about a half, or the diameter of the Sun, the apparent or fake Sun is actually sitting on top of the real Sun, which you don't see.
The illustration above shows what happens. Because the color green has a higher frequency, it has a steeper curve, more so then the reds, and is the last color to be refracted up to be seen by you.
I've also found that regular temps don't do it. I've been out in temps anywhere from -20c to -35c. At -20c the Sun looks a normal round, and no green flash, at -35c, you see a funky Sun, parts missing, square top and the like, this is because when the Sun travels along our lower atmosphere at -35c it's sunlight goes through more atmospheric temperature extremes making the separation of the reds and greens more apparent. Sorry for getting too technical but I thought there might be some of you that would appreciate the whys.
The Red Flash above is caused by atmospheric inversions causing all of the light being blocked, again the extreme temperatures, so you get the red all by itself, this time the red's longer wavelength helps, it is able to sneak through the lower atmosphere, filled with more particles, like dust, the greens and the blues are scattered because of their higher frequency, they tend to bump into all the lower atmospheric dust particles and get scattered out of the light path. What is interesting about this image is you can actually see a tiny bit of green on top of the Sun, so I have actually captured a green and red flash in the same image.
Again, sorry for getting so technical, it's not like there is going to be a test after, so if you want you can just take a look at what I think are cool pics and move along and not having to worry about a quiz or anything.
I got a cool perigee atmospheric Moon from Ivanhoe, this one I thought I would animate, looks cool, thanks Ivanhoe for allowing me to post it, and if you want , you get a free pair of Hanna Montana/Miley Cyrus 3D glasses.