Bizarre sunsets in the Atacama Desert of Chile. All three above sunset images, which are made through a refractor telescope, show how the layers of different temperature in the atmosphere creates a distorted image of the sun. As the sun’s image sinks through these layers it is miraged into fantastical ever changing shapes. Just as the top of the second exposed sun, seconds before the sunset, the Green Flash atmospheric phenomena is visible (the right image). Difficult to observe, the momentary green flash above the rising or setting sun has been documented as a phenomenon caused by the atmospheric bending or refraction of sunlight. Like a weak prism, the Earth’s atmosphere breaks white sunlight into colors, bending red colors slightly and green and blue colors through increasingly larger angles. When the sky is clear, a green flash just above the sun’s edge can sometimes be seen for a second or so, when the sun is close to a distant horizon.



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