What causes strange green flashes at sunset and sunrise on Earth?

Here’s something you might remember from your high school earth science class. Sunlight, which appears pure white, is refracted or bent as it passes through a glass prism. Different wavelengths of light are bent by different amounts. In this way, the prism can spread the white light into a rainbow spectrum.

The diffuse color of refraction can be observed in poor quality binoculars and telescopes. The optics tend to be misaligned on these cheap instruments, so you’ll see the full moon appear yellow-orange on one side and a bluish tint on the other.

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