A photographer captured Venus emitting a brief, ethereal green light in the sky over Sweden in what is considered a rare atmospheric optical phenomenon.
When trying to capture images of the hellish planet and the moon rising Over Stockholm, Peter Rosen observed the bright flash that has only been seen a few times.
Green flashes of light are caused by light reflecting off the Earth’s atmosphere like a prism and only occur on cold, clear nights because the cooler, cleaner air allows light to escape.
For those who want to see Venus’ green aura, it might be possible using a high-magnification setup, such as a high-speed camera with a very large sensor.
By taking quick photos in rapid succession as Venus sets, it is possible to capture a truly spectacular view.
Peter Rosen captured an image of a rare flash of green light coming from Venus
Peter Rosen took a photograph of Venus next to the moon before capturing the rare phenomenon.
However, green lights are only visible on clear nights and when there are strong temperature gradients in the air, such as extreme cold or heat, which magnify one color over another.
Rosen told Spaceweather.com that he was able to capture the green flash “due to the extreme cold that still persists in southern Sweden.”
The green flash appeared as Venus tilted at an angle closer to Earth’s horizon.
When this happens, Earth’s atmosphere can act like a prism, splitting white lights into red, green, yellow, orange, and blue colors.
If the atmosphere were completely clean and free of pollution, blue would be the flash of color emitted from Venus.
However, because the air contains pollutants, the second color that is reflected is green.
Photographer Paolo Palma captures this photo of Venus emitting green light in the sky over Rome in 2018
Venus’ green light has only been captured a few times, with photographer Colin Legg capturing one of the most recent images in 2017, before Rosen’s 2024 photograph.
Another green flash on Venus was captured in Rome in 2018 by Paolo Palma, who used his smartphone in front of the eyepiece of a 12-inch telescope that he magnified 76 times.
“The planet was low on the horizon and its light looked like a long bubble of fire, with red, orange, yellow and green flames,” Palma said at the time.
“When Venus disappeared below the horizon, the last ray was clearly green,” he added.
Although other green flashes have been observed, Rosen’s photograph of Venus “may be the best ever seen,” according to Spaceweather.com.