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Green flash appears on the horizon

 

Image: Jim Grant, @SDSCENICPHOTOS

In the fleeting seconds just as the sun dips below the horizon, you may catch a brief green flash. This phenomenon, visible at both sunrise and sunset, is so famous yet so elusive in San Diego. Local restaurants and breweries have even adopted the name for their businesses. Sunset Cliffs in Point Loma is a popular location for spotting the green flash, although social media posts indicate it is visible from Ocean Beach, too. 

What causes the green flash? Why is it visible sometimes but not all the time? Popular sighting locations along Point Loma are above sea level -- does that vantage point make the green flash any easier to spot?

Resources:

EarthSky: How to see a green flash

LA Times: Wait for the green flash on the Sunset Cliffs in San Diego

ABC News 10: Where to see a green flash in San Diego

San Diego Reader: San Diego's Green Flash Phenomenon

Times of San Diego: Rare green flash at sunset dazzles San Diego

NGSS & Grade:

MS-PS4, PS4.B: Electromagnetic Radiation