Under the Sun
4:40 pm
Thu September 1, 2011

Readers Share Green Flash Photos

Under the Sun recently ran a piece on green flashes – a green light that appears in the sky for a fleeting moment when the sun dips below the horizon. Many believe the green flash to be a myth, but it actually has a scientific explanation: refraction. We asked readers if they had ever seen a green flash. Many sent us stories and pictures of their experience with the atmospheric phenomenon.

KERRY MAXWELL

“My green flash was captured while in the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in Palm Beach County. Truly a flash – only visible for perhaps under a minute and certainly a few minutes before sundown. Maybe it doesn’t qualify because it didn’t occur as the sun dropped into the swamp but being out there alone – it was magical!”

FRED FORBES

“Ironic that your reporter from Florida’s West Coast never saw the green flash since that is where I first saw it after many years of looking. Caught it from the high restaurant in the Holiday Inn. Managed a shot of it during a trip to the Everglades, but it was so bright, it overexposed the slide film and came out white. But, during a trip to Key West in 2007 managed to get the attached shot. Not as intense and laser-like as I have seen it but enough to prove the point that it does exist. Saw it many times on dive trips to Bonaire – almost a daily occurrence as it is a desert climate and the atmosphere has to be clear and dry.”

KEVIN GLEASON

“The photo was taken at moonrise of the full moon in March on Hollywood Beach. At first I thought I had a smear on my lens. Then the lady taking pictures a few feet away from me asked me what caused a similar distortion on her photo. My conclusion is that our cameras caught an atmosperic phenomenon which our eyes missed. This photo is not retouched!”

PETER STEPHENSON

“I researched how to model sunsets and the sky for computer graphics at James Cook University in the late 1980s. But being in northeastern Australia, the sun set over the land. I had read about the green flash in scientific literature while figuring out why the sky is blue and sunsets are red, etc. I decided then that a green flash would go onto my bucket list before I even knew what a bucket list was. Twenty years later, I found myself in Miami and was in Key West for the weekend when I photographed the last glimmer on the sunset. And there it was. My first green flash. I’ve seen another since then.”