Lunar green flash
Itís early morning. A full moon readies itself to set behind Pigeon Point Lighthouse some 50 miles south of San Francisco. A capture by consulting meteorologist Jan Null (webpage).?The hanging lamp-like moon is flattened, ribbed and otherwise miss-shaped. We can still discern the forms of its dark maria. At top a green flash flickers. At base a combination of red flash and red rim.?A rich scene created by a rich atmospheric temperature profile. ?There are multiple, but mild, temperature inversion layers. The normal smooth temperature profile of the air cooling with increasing height is kinked. Instead, there are layers where the air warms as we climb. These small temperature and hence density changes create the green flash mirage. The temperature deviations needed are only a degree Celsius or so. Other more slowly changing temperatures generate the lamp-like shape.?