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What is Siesta Key’s Green Flash?

The sun looms delicately over the horizon. Just as it settles, a brief flash appears. The color spectrum, wildly coated in soft blues and glowing reds and yellows, is interrupted with a splash of green- quick, spirited, and almost eerie.

This is the green flash, and it is a staple of the Siesta Key sunset.

What is it really? How can you see it? The green flash is a mesmerizing natural phenomenon that has awed Siesta key vacationers for decades.

Explaining What the Green Flash Looks Like

The green flash is a light phenomenon that sometimes appears above the sunset as it dips over the horizon. It can also be seen during sunrise. It appears for only a few seconds at most and often looks like a giant beam coming up and out of the sun and fizzling to the sky. More commonly, the flash looks like a bubble that casually sits above the sun and disappears very shortly.

siesta key sunsets green flash

What is it Actually?

A green flash is a pinpoint of light, propelled from the sun and into the atmosphere, at the right angle, which results in a quick flash. The green coloration is a distillation of the color from the sun as it fades over the horizon. The flash is more common over a water sunset due to the thermal heat from the water heating the air and making for greater thermal contrast. This creates an optimal atmosphere for the light phenomenon.

Put simply, the green flash is just a moment where the sunlight catches just right to “react” with the sky in a specific way. In some sense, it is little more than a mirage in the desert. You catch the light at the right angle, and it manifests as a burst of green.

woman taking a picture of the sunset

When Can You See it?

There is not a lot anyone can do, at least personally, to improve their chances of seeing a green flash occur. The optimal conditions include a nice distance from the horizon line, usually about two to three miles.

You want to almost see the curvature of the Earth, so sitting atop a higher point can help. You should be in an area of reduced pollution, which Siesta Key is fortunate to have. A cloudless night also reduces interferences and improves your chances of a sighting. If you blink at the wrong time, it is possible you could miss it.

If the above seems like a peculiar phenomenon, you are not alone. The magical and mystical nature of the green flash has captivated Siesta Key visitors, even if locals are somewhat knowledgeable about what it is and what it looks like.

Green flash or not, the Siesta Key sunset is pure magic. You may have heard that the key has some of the most astonishing sunsets in Florida, and perhaps even the world.

The community will freely celebrate the sunset. For example, the Siesta Key Drum Circle is a community that meets at least once a week to play music, set bonfires, and celebrate under the setting sun. Restaurants on the water often have sunset specials: discounted or free drinks as the sun goes down, and evening specials that continue long into the night.

Stop by our Siesta Key beaches for an incredible vacation experience. Take the time to appreciate the sights whether you decide to skip on over to downtown Sarasota for a day trip and or enjoy the family-friendly amenities at the Tropical Breeze Resort.

Plan Your Vacation

Book your stay at our beachfront resort hotel today. Its always summer on Siesta Key!

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