Chris Mannerino from San Diego, California, USA, took this green flash picture on the 13th of December, 2017.
It’s not impossible to see a green flash only with your eyes. You can do that when the sky conditions are ideal, especially when you’re looking at a very distant and very clear horizon. This is why those living near an ocean witness flashes more commonly. The perfect place to see them is a sea horizon.
Vladek’s video was recorded in 2016 and it is an amazing example of the Green Flash experience.
When can you see it?
People usually catch green flashes right at sunset, before the sun goes below the horizon at the very last moment. However, you need to be patient and not look too soon. If you do it too early, your eyes will be dazzled (or damaged) by the sunset light. Therefore, you will lose your chance to see the flash that day. But if you are careful, the green flash of that day will be yours. You just need to look away until just the smallest surface of the sun shows above the horizon.
Besides, you can see the flash before sunrise too. But, it is more difficult to determine exactly when to look at that time of day.
There are plenty of different green flash types.
Many perceive it as a ray or streak of the color green… Something like a green flame rising out from the sunset or sunrise horizon.
However, the most popular green flash – the one described by most people – is a flash of the green color visible as the sun is almost completely below the horizon.
As we previously mentioned, to see any of these occurrences you need a horizon that is distant, but also a clear point to the horizon. Therefore, these green rays, flashes, and streaks are most commonly seen across the ocean. But, if the horizon is quite far away, you can see them over land as well. Pollution or mist on the horizon can cover this sudden green color flash.
If you want to learn more about flashes, Andrew Young’s page is a great source for that. There you can also find a list with links to images of green flashes shot by people from all over the world.
Then, of course, you can visit the fantastic website Atmospheric Optics where Les Cowley devotes plenty of pages to the green flash occurrence. You can use the menu bar on the left side; it will let you discover various types of flashes.
To sum up, the green flash is glorious, but a lot of people considered it a legend; like a treasure at the end of a rainbow or a unicorn. In fact, green flashes are something real. You just need a distant and exceptionally distinct horizon to catch them at the last moment before the sun falls beneath the horizon at sunset.