A GREEN FLASH ON THE SUN: For seaside photographers, nothing beats a green flash–that sudden pulse of verdant light at sunset as the sun vanishes beneath the ocean waves. James Young was on a beach in Oregon on July 11th when captured a green flash. But it didn’t come from the ocean waves. It came from the top of a cloud.
This is a rare ‘cloud-top’ green flash, sometimes seen as the sun’s rays graze a distant cloud bank. They are not well understood. Ordinary green flashes require a temperature inversion layer near the sea surface. Similar inversions may sometimes occur at the top of marine stratus clouds, giving rise to the type of ragged cloudy flash Young witnessed.
“It was very bright–a beautiful mystery to end the day,” he says.
Other Green Flash Sunsets. People spend a lifetime waiting for one of these and never see them other then in photographs.