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"Green flash sunset": rare and cool phenomenon

NOW: “Green flash sunset“: rare and cool phenomenon

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It's a very rare sight to see, but and there's photographers who wait their entire lives trying to get a brief glimpse of something called a "green flash sunset". This is all caused by the bending of the last amounts of sunlight in the lowest levels of the atmosphere. When sunlight travels through our atmosphere, air molecules, dust, and other particles do a really good job at both scattering cooler colors of the rainbow and absorbing the warmer colors. Blue light is scattered the most during the daytime, which is why the sky appears blue! At the very end of the day, sunlight has to move through the lowest and densest part of the atmosphere, which is right above the ground. So, there's more molecules to get rid of, or scatter, the purple and blue colors, leaving a sight hint of green just before the sun completely sets.

For a brief moment just before the Sun fully sets, there is a quick flash of green that can pop up! This is a very rare event, but it's worthwhile if you catch a look.


And this doesn't happen all the time and you need a very clear sky and atmosphere along with a complete view of the horizon. So, the Lake Michigan shoreline or a tall building looking off to the west would be the best options for viewing.

If you're looking to catch a nice sunset or maybe just hang out outside after work, there'll be a couple good days for it! Especially today with full sunshine expected for everyone, it'll be a great one to be outside at some point. Temperatures will at least be comfortable during the evening hours, but after today, there won't be much sunshine until Friday. The clouds and scattered rain showers Wednesday and Thursday will likely block out the sun again.


But, there's still plenty of daylight to enjoy! The sun sets tonight at 9:19, for a total of 15 hours and 9 minutes of daylight. That time will continue to grow over the next few days up to June 21st, next Friday. That's the longest day of the calendar year and the summer solstice, marking the official start of the summer season. Sunset that day is 9:21 pm, with 15 hours and 12 minutes of daylight. Afterwards, days slowly get shorter but the sunset will still be after 9 pm throughout July. We'll really notice the shorter days come August.

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