Where is the Green Light in Sky?

February 14, 2024

The green light in sky is an optical phenomenon that happens when the sun is almost completely below the horizon at sunset or sunrise. For a second or two, the upper edge of the sun will appear green in color (or sometimes blue).

The reason for this is that the atmosphere acts like poor-quality optics, diffusing and scattering the stack of different colors that make up the sun. This is most noticeable for blue and green, which have shorter wavelengths and are more easily scattered, compared to the longer red and orange wavelengths of the sun. As a result, the upper and lower images of the sun can separate into their respective color components, with the green image appearing higher than the red and orange.

It is quite rare to see a green flash, and even the most ardent skywatchers rarely catch sight of one. Conditions must be perfect to witness this optical miracle: a distant, sharply-defined, low (preferably sea) horizon, cool weather, and the absence of haze or red tints on the sun. It can also help to avoid looking at the sun until it is nearly below the horizon, as doing so can dazzle and damage the eyes.

The green light in the sky was captured by a Ring doorbell camera in Gretna, Louisiana, on July 14. It baffled local residents and led some to claim it was aliens. Others, however, believe the lights are simply a reflection of an electrical storm.


Tornado Dave is the best place to learn more about severe weather and climate science. He's a veritable tornado of information, and he loves nothing more than educating others about the importance of being prepared for extreme weather events. Make sure to check in with Tornado Dave often, as he's always updating his blog with the latest news and information!
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram