Abstract

Photographs of green flashes do not preclude a role for physiological effects in these phenomena. While green flashes are certainly not after-images, there is compelling evidence that adaptation in the visual system strongly affects the perceived color of most sunset green flashes. Furthermore, the retinal image of the setting Sun is usually bright enough to bleach most of the red-sensitive photopigment in a few seconds, making the yellow stage of a sunset flash appear green. Even in air so hazy that no green light reaches the eye, a yellow flash may occur and appear green. Many, but not all, visual observations of sunset green flashes are of this yellow flash. The yellow portion of sunset green flashes helps explain their reported durations, which exceed those expected for the appearance of green light alone.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

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References

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  61. G. Grandjean, “Optique atmosphérique,” Bull. Soc. Astron. France 41, 105 (1927).
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1999 (2)

A. T. Young, “Green flashes and mirages,” Opt. Photon. NewsMarch1999, pp. 31–37.

A. T. Young, “De groene flits, hemelsverschijnsel tussen wal en schip,” Zenit 26, 248–254 (1999).

1998 (3)

A. T. Young, G. W. Kattawar, “Sunset science. II. A useful diagram,” Appl. Opt. 37, 3785–3792 (1998).
[CrossRef]

“In a flash,” Economist 347, 95 (June20, 1998).

A. T. Young, “Understanding green flashes,” Bull. Am. Astron. Soc. 30, 934–935 (1998).

1997 (2)

A. T. Young, G. W. Kattawar, P. Parviainen, “Sunset science. I. The mock mirage,” Appl. Opt. 36, 2689–2700 (1997).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

D. L. Crawford, “Photometry: terminology and units in the lighting and astronomical sciences,” Observatory 117, 14–18 (1997).

1994 (1)

A. T. Young, “Improvements to photometry VI. Passbands and transformations,” Astron. Astrophys. 288, 683–696 (1994).

1981 (1)

J. Walraven, “Perceived colour under conditions of chromatic adaptation: evidence for gain control by π mechanisms,” Vision Res. 21, 611–630 (1981).
[CrossRef]

1979 (2)

W. S. Geisler, “Evidence for the equivalent-background hypothesis in cones,” Vision Res. 19, 799–805 (1979).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

M. Alpern, “Lack of uniformity in colour matching,” J. Physiol. 288, 85–105 (1979).
[PubMed]

1978 (1)

W. S. Geisler, “The effects of photopigment depletion on brightness and threshold,” Vision Res. 18, 269–278 (1978).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

1973 (1)

1969 (1)

J. H. Taylor, B. T. Matthias, “Green flash from high altitude,” Nature 222, 157 (1969).
[CrossRef]

1968 (1)

1965 (1)

W. A. H. Rushton, “Cone pigment kinetics in the deuteranope,” J. Physiol. 176, 38–45 (1965).
[PubMed]

1962 (1)

T. N. Cornsweet, “Changes in the appearance of stimuli of very high luminance,” Psychol. Rev. 69, 257–273 (1962).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

1958 (1)

T. N. Cornsweet, H. Fowler, R. G. Radebeau, R. E. Whalen, D. R. Williams, “Changes in the perceived color of very bright stimuli,” Science 128, 898–899 (1958).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

1957 (1)

A. L. Franklin, “Green flash” (letter to the editor), Weather 12, 265–266 (1957).
[CrossRef]

1955 (1)

G. Dietze, “Die Sichtbarkeit des ‘Grünen Strahls’,” Zeitschr. Meteorol. 9, 169–178 (1955).

1953 (1)

G. S. Brindley, “The effects on colour vision of adaptation to very bright lights,” J. Physiol. 122, 332–350 (1953).
[PubMed]

1952 (1)

P. J. E. Marshall, “Abnormal refraction, North Atlantic Ocean,” Marine Obs. 22, 125 (1952).

1949 (1)

Commandant Cornu, “Optique atmosphérique,” Bull. Soc. Astron. Fr. 63, 341–342 (1949).

1943 (1)

1937 (1)

G. Schröder, “Vom ‘Grünen Strahl’ … . II. Der Grüne Strahl an einem 140 Seemeilen entfernten Bergabhang,” Ann. Hydr. Maritim. Met. 65, 492–493 (1937).

1935 (3)

G. Schröder, “Beobachtungen des ‘Grünen Strahls’,” Ann. Hydr. Maritim. Met. 63, 336–340 (1935).

F. P. Worley, “The green flash at sunset,” Nature 135, 760 (1935).
[CrossRef]

E. Rahir, “Observation sur le rayon vert au coucher du soleil,” Ciel et Terre 51, 158–160 (1935).

1934 (1)

Rayleigh, “Further experiments in illustration of the green flash at sunset,” Proc. Phys. Soc. London 46, 487–498 (1934).
[CrossRef]

1933 (1)

J. S. Haldane, “The physiological significance of Weber’s law and colour contrast in vision,” J. Physiol. 79, 121–138 (1933).
[PubMed]

1930 (3)

Rayleigh, “Normal atmospheric dispersion as the cause of the ‘Green Flash’ at sunset, with illustrative experiments,” Proc. R. Soc. London Ser. A 126, 311–318 (1930).
[CrossRef]

H. Lipp, “Beobachtungen des grünen Strahles auf der Zugspitze,” Met. Z. 47, 113–115 (1930).

C. V. Starr, “The green flash,” Met. Mag. 64, 290–291 (1930).

1927 (2)

T. Kellen, “Nochmals der Grüne Strahl,” Kosmos (Stuttgart) 24, 282–285 (1927).

G. Grandjean, “Optique atmosphérique,” Bull. Soc. Astron. France 41, 105 (1927).

1926 (1)

A. D. Verschuur, “Groene straal,” Zee 48, 446–448 (1926).

1925 (1)

L. Rudaux, “Photographie du rayon vert,” La Nature 53:2(2692), 303–304 (1925).

1920 (1)

A. Pütter, “Zur Kenntnis des Grünen Strahls,” Naturwissenschaften 8, 497 (1920).
[CrossRef]

1919 (1)

Ch.-Ed. Guillaume, “Le rayon vert,” Bull. Soc. Astron. France 33, 515–516 (1919).

1917 (1)

G. Guglielmo, “Intorno ad alcune particolarità del raggio verde,” Boll. Bimens. Soc. Meteor. Ital. (Torino) 36, 49–50 (1917).

1914 (1)

Kritzinger, “Der grüne Strahl,” Sirius 47, 209–210 (1914).

1906 (2)

A. A. Rambaut, “The green flash on the horizon,” Symons’s Met. Mag. 41, 21–23, 41–45 (1906).

J. H. Worthington, “The green flash at sunset,” Knowledge (new series) 3, 376 (1906).

1904 (2)

C. T. Whitmell, “The green flash [letter 543],” English Mechanic 79, 556 (1904).

“M. D.,” “The green flash at sunset,” T. P. ’s Weekly 4, 284 (1904).

1903 (1)

F. Exner, “Der Grüne Strahl der untergehenden Sonne,” Meteorol. Zs. 20, 42 (1903).

1902 (2)

“Meteor,” Letter 439, “The weather in the British Isles in October, 1902: The ‘green flash’,” English Mechanic 76, 317 (1902).

L. Libert, “Déformations solaires et rayon vert,” La Nature 30:2(1535), 332 (1902).

1901 (1)

W. H. Julius, “Le rayon vert,” Arch. Néerland. Sci. Exactes Naturelles 6, 385–389 (1901).

1900 (1)

G. J. Burch, “On the relation of artificial colour-blindness to successive contrast,” Proc. R. Soc. London 66, 204–216 (1900).
[CrossRef]

1899 (1)

G. J. Burch, “On artificial temporary colour-blindness, with an examination of the colour sensations of 109 persons,” Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. 191, 1–34 (1899).
[CrossRef]

1891 (1)

P. Henry, “Sur une méthode de mesure de la dispersion atmosphérique,” C. R. Acad. Sci. 112, 377–380 (1891).

1890 (1)

C. Hess, “Ueber die Tonänderungen der Spectralfarben durch Ermüdung der Netzhaut mit homogenem Lichte,” Albrecht Graefes Archiv Ophthalmol. 36, 1–32 (1890).
[CrossRef]

1887 (1)

J. von Kries, “Entgegnung an Herrn E. Hering,” Pflügers Arch. Physiol. 41, 389–397 (1887).
[CrossRef]

1873 (1)

D. Winstanley, “Atmospheric refraction and the last rays of the setting sun,” Proc. Manchester Lit. Phil. Soc. 13, 1–4 (1873).

1871 (1)

G. Giordano, “Singolari apparenze osservate nel tramonto del sole,” Rend. Accad. Sci. Fis. Mat. 10, 230–231 (1871).

1816 (2)

E. Acharius, “Beschreibung eines besondern Meteors,” Gilb. Ann. Phys. 52, 235–239 (1816).
[CrossRef]

“M.,” “Eine Bemerkung über das besondere, von Herrn Acharius beschriebene Meteor, welches vor einigen Jahren in Schweden gesehen worden ist,” Gilb. Ann. Phys. 52, 342–343 (1816).
[CrossRef]

Acharius, E.

E. Acharius, “Beschreibung eines besondern Meteors,” Gilb. Ann. Phys. 52, 235–239 (1816).
[CrossRef]

Allen, C. W.

C. W. Allen, Astrophysical Quantities, 3rd ed. (Athlone, London, 1973), pp. 26, 127, 169, 173.

Alpern, M.

M. Alpern, “Lack of uniformity in colour matching,” J. Physiol. 288, 85–105 (1979).
[PubMed]

Bonacini, C.

C. Bonacini, “Sul fenomeno del ‘Raggio Verde’,” Pubblicazioni dell’Osservatorio Geofisico dell’Università di Modena No. 39, 115–130 (1927).

Bornstein, M. H.

Brindley, G. S.

G. S. Brindley, “The effects on colour vision of adaptation to very bright lights,” J. Physiol. 122, 332–350 (1953).
[PubMed]

Burch, G. J.

G. J. Burch, “On the relation of artificial colour-blindness to successive contrast,” Proc. R. Soc. London 66, 204–216 (1900).
[CrossRef]

G. J. Burch, “On artificial temporary colour-blindness, with an examination of the colour sensations of 109 persons,” Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. 191, 1–34 (1899).
[CrossRef]

Chambers, R. M.

R. M. Chambers, “The green ray,” Times (London)10 (2June, 1933).

Corliss, W. R.

W. R. Corliss, Rare Halos, Mirages, Anomalous Rainbows and Related Electromagnetic Phenomena (Sourcebook Project, Glen Arm, Md., 1984).

Cornsweet, T. N.

T. N. Cornsweet, “Changes in the appearance of stimuli of very high luminance,” Psychol. Rev. 69, 257–273 (1962).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

T. N. Cornsweet, H. Fowler, R. G. Radebeau, R. E. Whalen, D. R. Williams, “Changes in the perceived color of very bright stimuli,” Science 128, 898–899 (1958).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Cornu, Commandant

Commandant Cornu, “Optique atmosphérique,” Bull. Soc. Astron. Fr. 63, 341–342 (1949).

Crawford, D. L.

D. L. Crawford, “Photometry: terminology and units in the lighting and astronomical sciences,” Observatory 117, 14–18 (1997).

Dietze, G.

G. Dietze, “Die Sichtbarkeit des ‘Grünen Strahls’,” Zeitschr. Meteorol. 9, 169–178 (1955).

Exner, F.

F. Exner, “Der Grüne Strahl der untergehenden Sonne,” Meteorol. Zs. 20, 42 (1903).

Feenstra Kuiper, P.

P. Feenstra Kuiper, De Groene Straal (C. de Boer Jr., Helder, The Netherlands, 1926).

Forsythe, W. E.

E. S. Steeb, W. E. Forsythe, “Photometry and illumination,” in Handbook of PhysicsE. U. Condon, H. Odishaw, eds. (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1958), pp. 6–47.

Fowler, H.

T. N. Cornsweet, H. Fowler, R. G. Radebeau, R. E. Whalen, D. R. Williams, “Changes in the perceived color of very bright stimuli,” Science 128, 898–899 (1958).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Franklin, A. L.

A. L. Franklin, “Green flash” (letter to the editor), Weather 12, 265–266 (1957).
[CrossRef]

Geisler, W. S.

W. S. Geisler, “Evidence for the equivalent-background hypothesis in cones,” Vision Res. 19, 799–805 (1979).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

W. S. Geisler, “The effects of photopigment depletion on brightness and threshold,” Vision Res. 18, 269–278 (1978).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Giordano, G.

G. Giordano, “Singolari apparenze osservate nel tramonto del sole,” Rend. Accad. Sci. Fis. Mat. 10, 230–231 (1871).

Grandjean, G.

G. Grandjean, “Optique atmosphérique,” Bull. Soc. Astron. France 41, 105 (1927).

Guglielmo, G.

G. Guglielmo, “Intorno ad alcune particolarità del raggio verde,” Boll. Bimens. Soc. Meteor. Ital. (Torino) 36, 49–50 (1917).

Guillaume, Ch.-Ed.

Ch.-Ed. Guillaume, “Le rayon vert,” Bull. Soc. Astron. France 33, 515–516 (1919).

Haldane, J. S.

J. S. Haldane, “The physiological significance of Weber’s law and colour contrast in vision,” J. Physiol. 79, 121–138 (1933).
[PubMed]

J. S. Haldane, “The green ray,” Times (London)13 (10June, 1933).

Henry, P.

P. Henry, “Sur une méthode de mesure de la dispersion atmosphérique,” C. R. Acad. Sci. 112, 377–380 (1891).

Hess, C.

C. Hess, “Ueber die Tonänderungen der Spectralfarben durch Ermüdung der Netzhaut mit homogenem Lichte,” Albrecht Graefes Archiv Ophthalmol. 36, 1–32 (1890).
[CrossRef]

Humphreys, W. J.

W. J. Humphreys, Physics of the Air, 3rd ed. (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1940).

Jenkins, F. A.

F. A. Jenkins, H. E. White, Fundamentals of Optics, 3rd ed. (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1957), p. 109.

Julius, W. H.

W. H. Julius, “Le rayon vert,” Arch. Néerland. Sci. Exactes Naturelles 6, 385–389 (1901).

Kattawar, G. W.

Kellen, T.

T. Kellen, “Nochmals der Grüne Strahl,” Kosmos (Stuttgart) 24, 282–285 (1927).

Kelly, K. L.

Kritzinger,

Kritzinger, “Der grüne Strahl,” Sirius 47, 209–210 (1914).

Libert, L.

L. Libert, “Déformations solaires et rayon vert,” La Nature 30:2(1535), 332 (1902).

Lipp, H.

H. Lipp, “Beobachtungen des grünen Strahles auf der Zugspitze,” Met. Z. 47, 113–115 (1930).

Marks, L. E.

Marshall, P. J. E.

P. J. E. Marshall, “Abnormal refraction, North Atlantic Ocean,” Marine Obs. 22, 125 (1952).

Matthias, B. T.

J. H. Taylor, B. T. Matthias, “Green flash from high altitude,” Nature 222, 157 (1969).
[CrossRef]

Meinel, A.

A. Meinel, M. Meinel, Sunsets, Twilights, and Evening Skies (Cambridge U. Press, Cambridge, UK, 1983).

Meinel, M.

A. Meinel, M. Meinel, Sunsets, Twilights, and Evening Skies (Cambridge U. Press, Cambridge, UK, 1983).

Meyer-Arendt, J. R.

Minnaert, M.

M. Minnaert, The Nature of Light and Colour in the Open Air (Dover, New York, 1954).

Mulder, M. E.

M. E. Mulder, The “Green Ray” or “Green Flash” (Rayon Vert) at Rising and Setting of the Sun (T. Fisher Unwin, Ltd., London, 1922).

O’Connell, D. J. K.

D. J. K. O’Connell, The Green Flash and Other Low Sun Phenomena (North Holland, Amsterdam, 1958).

Parviainen, P.

Pütter, A.

A. Pütter, “Zur Kenntnis des Grünen Strahls,” Naturwissenschaften 8, 497 (1920).
[CrossRef]

Radebeau, R. G.

T. N. Cornsweet, H. Fowler, R. G. Radebeau, R. E. Whalen, D. R. Williams, “Changes in the perceived color of very bright stimuli,” Science 128, 898–899 (1958).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Rahir, E.

E. Rahir, “Observation sur le rayon vert au coucher du soleil,” Ciel et Terre 51, 158–160 (1935).

Rambaut, A. A.

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E. S. Steeb, W. E. Forsythe, “Photometry and illumination,” in Handbook of PhysicsE. U. Condon, H. Odishaw, eds. (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1958), pp. 6–47.

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J. Walraven, “Perceived colour under conditions of chromatic adaptation: evidence for gain control by π mechanisms,” Vision Res. 21, 611–630 (1981).
[CrossRef]

Whalen, R. E.

T. N. Cornsweet, H. Fowler, R. G. Radebeau, R. E. Whalen, D. R. Williams, “Changes in the perceived color of very bright stimuli,” Science 128, 898–899 (1958).
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White, H. E.

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Williams, D. R.

T. N. Cornsweet, H. Fowler, R. G. Radebeau, R. E. Whalen, D. R. Williams, “Changes in the perceived color of very bright stimuli,” Science 128, 898–899 (1958).
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D. Winstanley, “Atmospheric refraction and the last rays of the setting sun,” Proc. Manchester Lit. Phil. Soc. 13, 1–4 (1873).

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J. H. Worthington, “The green flash at sunset,” Knowledge (new series) 3, 376 (1906).

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G. Wyszecki, “Colorimetry,” in Handbook of Optics, W. G. Driscoll, W. Vaughan, eds. (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1978), p. 9-2.

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A. T. Young, “Green flashes and mirages,” Opt. Photon. NewsMarch1999, pp. 31–37.

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Albrecht Graefes Archiv Ophthalmol. (1)

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Ann. Hydr. Maritim. Met. (2)

G. Schröder, “Beobachtungen des ‘Grünen Strahls’,” Ann. Hydr. Maritim. Met. 63, 336–340 (1935).

G. Schröder, “Vom ‘Grünen Strahl’ … . II. Der Grüne Strahl an einem 140 Seemeilen entfernten Bergabhang,” Ann. Hydr. Maritim. Met. 65, 492–493 (1937).

Appl. Opt. (3)

Arch. Néerland. Sci. Exactes Naturelles (1)

W. H. Julius, “Le rayon vert,” Arch. Néerland. Sci. Exactes Naturelles 6, 385–389 (1901).

Astron. Astrophys. (1)

A. T. Young, “Improvements to photometry VI. Passbands and transformations,” Astron. Astrophys. 288, 683–696 (1994).

Boll. Bimens. Soc. Meteor. Ital. (Torino) (1)

G. Guglielmo, “Intorno ad alcune particolarità del raggio verde,” Boll. Bimens. Soc. Meteor. Ital. (Torino) 36, 49–50 (1917).

Bull. Am. Astron. Soc. (1)

A. T. Young, “Understanding green flashes,” Bull. Am. Astron. Soc. 30, 934–935 (1998).

Bull. Soc. Astron. Fr. (1)

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C. R. Acad. Sci. (1)

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Ciel et Terre (1)

E. Rahir, “Observation sur le rayon vert au coucher du soleil,” Ciel et Terre 51, 158–160 (1935).

Economist (1)

“In a flash,” Economist 347, 95 (June20, 1998).

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[PubMed]

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Knowledge (new series) (1)

J. H. Worthington, “The green flash at sunset,” Knowledge (new series) 3, 376 (1906).

Kosmos (Stuttgart) (1)

T. Kellen, “Nochmals der Grüne Strahl,” Kosmos (Stuttgart) 24, 282–285 (1927).

La Nature (2)

L. Libert, “Déformations solaires et rayon vert,” La Nature 30:2(1535), 332 (1902).

L. Rudaux, “Photographie du rayon vert,” La Nature 53:2(2692), 303–304 (1925).

Marine Obs. (1)

P. J. E. Marshall, “Abnormal refraction, North Atlantic Ocean,” Marine Obs. 22, 125 (1952).

Met. Mag. (1)

C. V. Starr, “The green flash,” Met. Mag. 64, 290–291 (1930).

Met. Z. (1)

H. Lipp, “Beobachtungen des grünen Strahles auf der Zugspitze,” Met. Z. 47, 113–115 (1930).

Meteorol. Zs. (1)

F. Exner, “Der Grüne Strahl der untergehenden Sonne,” Meteorol. Zs. 20, 42 (1903).

Nature (2)

F. P. Worley, “The green flash at sunset,” Nature 135, 760 (1935).
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J. H. Taylor, B. T. Matthias, “Green flash from high altitude,” Nature 222, 157 (1969).
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Naturwissenschaften (1)

A. Pütter, “Zur Kenntnis des Grünen Strahls,” Naturwissenschaften 8, 497 (1920).
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Observatory (1)

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Opt. Photon. News (1)

A. T. Young, “Green flashes and mirages,” Opt. Photon. NewsMarch1999, pp. 31–37.

Pflügers Arch. Physiol. (1)

J. von Kries, “Entgegnung an Herrn E. Hering,” Pflügers Arch. Physiol. 41, 389–397 (1887).
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Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. (1)

G. J. Burch, “On artificial temporary colour-blindness, with an examination of the colour sensations of 109 persons,” Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. 191, 1–34 (1899).
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Proc. Manchester Lit. Phil. Soc. (1)

D. Winstanley, “Atmospheric refraction and the last rays of the setting sun,” Proc. Manchester Lit. Phil. Soc. 13, 1–4 (1873).

Proc. Phys. Soc. London (1)

Rayleigh, “Further experiments in illustration of the green flash at sunset,” Proc. Phys. Soc. London 46, 487–498 (1934).
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Proc. R. Soc. London (1)

G. J. Burch, “On the relation of artificial colour-blindness to successive contrast,” Proc. R. Soc. London 66, 204–216 (1900).
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Proc. R. Soc. London Ser. A (1)

Rayleigh, “Normal atmospheric dispersion as the cause of the ‘Green Flash’ at sunset, with illustrative experiments,” Proc. R. Soc. London Ser. A 126, 311–318 (1930).
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Psychol. Rev. (1)

T. N. Cornsweet, “Changes in the appearance of stimuli of very high luminance,” Psychol. Rev. 69, 257–273 (1962).
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G. Giordano, “Singolari apparenze osservate nel tramonto del sole,” Rend. Accad. Sci. Fis. Mat. 10, 230–231 (1871).

Science (1)

T. N. Cornsweet, H. Fowler, R. G. Radebeau, R. E. Whalen, D. R. Williams, “Changes in the perceived color of very bright stimuli,” Science 128, 898–899 (1958).
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Sirius (1)

Kritzinger, “Der grüne Strahl,” Sirius 47, 209–210 (1914).

Symons’s Met. Mag. (1)

A. A. Rambaut, “The green flash on the horizon,” Symons’s Met. Mag. 41, 21–23, 41–45 (1906).

T. P. ’s Weekly (1)

“M. D.,” “The green flash at sunset,” T. P. ’s Weekly 4, 284 (1904).

Vision Res. (3)

W. S. Geisler, “The effects of photopigment depletion on brightness and threshold,” Vision Res. 18, 269–278 (1978).
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W. S. Geisler, “Evidence for the equivalent-background hypothesis in cones,” Vision Res. 19, 799–805 (1979).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

J. Walraven, “Perceived colour under conditions of chromatic adaptation: evidence for gain control by π mechanisms,” Vision Res. 21, 611–630 (1981).
[CrossRef]

Weather (1)

A. L. Franklin, “Green flash” (letter to the editor), Weather 12, 265–266 (1957).
[CrossRef]

Zee (1)

A. D. Verschuur, “Groene straal,” Zee 48, 446–448 (1926).

Zeitschr. Meteorol. (1)

G. Dietze, “Die Sichtbarkeit des ‘Grünen Strahls’,” Zeitschr. Meteorol. 9, 169–178 (1955).

Zenit (1)

A. T. Young, “De groene flits, hemelsverschijnsel tussen wal en schip,” Zenit 26, 248–254 (1999).

Other (17)

A. Meinel, M. Meinel, Sunsets, Twilights, and Evening Skies (Cambridge U. Press, Cambridge, UK, 1983).

W. J. Humphreys, Physics of the Air, 3rd ed. (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1940).

D. J. K. O’Connell, The Green Flash and Other Low Sun Phenomena (North Holland, Amsterdam, 1958).

W. R. Corliss, Rare Halos, Mirages, Anomalous Rainbows and Related Electromagnetic Phenomena (Sourcebook Project, Glen Arm, Md., 1984).

M. Minnaert, The Nature of Light and Colour in the Open Air (Dover, New York, 1954).

E. S. Steeb, W. E. Forsythe, “Photometry and illumination,” in Handbook of PhysicsE. U. Condon, H. Odishaw, eds. (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1958), pp. 6–47.

C. W. Allen, Astrophysical Quantities, 3rd ed. (Athlone, London, 1973), pp. 26, 127, 169, 173.

G. Wyszecki, “Colorimetry,” in Handbook of Optics, W. G. Driscoll, W. Vaughan, eds. (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1978), p. 9-2.

F. A. Jenkins, H. E. White, Fundamentals of Optics, 3rd ed. (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1957), p. 109.

J. von Kries, “Die Gesichtsempfindungen,” in Handbuch der Physiologie des Menschen, W. Nagel, ed. (Friedrich Vieweg und Sohn, Braunschweig, 1905), Vol. 3, pp. 109–280.

J. Verne, Le Rayon-Vert (Hetzel, Paris, 1882).

R. W. Wood, Physical Optics, 3rd ed. (Macmillan, New York, 1934), p. 84.

R. M. Chambers, “The green ray,” Times (London)10 (2June, 1933).

C. Bonacini, “Sul fenomeno del ‘Raggio Verde’,” Pubblicazioni dell’Osservatorio Geofisico dell’Università di Modena No. 39, 115–130 (1927).

J. S. Haldane, “The green ray,” Times (London)13 (10June, 1933).

P. Feenstra Kuiper, De Groene Straal (C. de Boer Jr., Helder, The Netherlands, 1926).

M. E. Mulder, The “Green Ray” or “Green Flash” (Rayon Vert) at Rising and Setting of the Sun (T. Fisher Unwin, Ltd., London, 1922).

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Figures (4)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Mock-mirage green flash, photographed at Alpine, California, at 7:22:32 p.m. PDT on April 19, 1998. [See Paper I (Ref. 3) for an explanation of mock mirages.]

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Schröder’s Bildreihe 6. Note the progressive change in perceived color from orange to near-white as the Sun sets.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Two stages of a green-flash sunset photographed at Torrey Pines, California, on September 9, 1996. These versions have been digitally enhanced to emphasize the green features, which are easily visible on the original slides but are too dark to reproduce in normal prints. Upper image, 7:00:54 p.m., PDT; lower image, 7:02:57 p.m., taken with 4×-longer exposure. The same enhancement was applied to both images. Note the rapid increase of atmospheric extinction and reddening toward the horizon. The small detached area at the top of the lower image corresponds to the deep notch in the lowest part of the upper image. It appeared entirely green to the eye, as seen in the camera viewfinder, though only a trace of green shows at its extreme ends on the photographs. The green outline on the first (upper) image resembles that shown in part d of Schröder’s sunset (Fig. 2).

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Inferior-mirage flash photographed near Scripps Pier on March 30, 1998. This was a moderately bright naked-eye flash that had appeared completely green to the eye for over half a second before this picture was taken. The yellow stage of the flash is disappearing, but still photographable, in the middle of the photographic green part. The full width of this flash is about 5 arc minutes; for a comparison with the whole disk of the Sun, see Fig. 5 of Ref. 1.

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