Simulation of the Sunrise Inferior-Mirage Green Flash

The inferior-mirage flash

Here's the inferior-mirage flash at sunrise, seen from a height of 4 meters above sea level:

animation of an inferior-mirage green flash

Once again, I have simply reversed the sunset flash sequence. The three-times greater magnification, with the realistic (at the equator) time scale, lets you see how the inferior-mirage flash develops at sunrise.

Notice how rapidly the image grows at first. Now you can understand Mr. J. A. Hardcastle's(1905) remark that “a far greater amount of the sun was visible within two seconds of its rising than ought to be according to the movement of the sun. It occurred rapidly, as one saw it rising, evidently due to refraction, and not to the movement of the earth.”

This rapidity is due to the infinite vertical magnification at the fold line of the inferior mirage.

© 1999 – 2002, 2005, 2006 Andrew T. Young

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