Omega Sunset

OMEGA SUNSET: “Last night’s sunset was an amazing sight,” reports Pete Lawrence from West Beach in Selsey, UK. “As the sun approached the horizon, the lower half of the solar disk extended downwards to touch an image of itself rising out of the waves.” He took this picture of the phenomenon:

Jules Verne famously likened this kind of sunset to an Etruscan Vase. Others call it an “Omega sunset” because it resembles the Greek letter. Either way, it is caused by warm air overlying the sea surface, which refracts the rays of the setting sun to produce a mirage, as shown.

This is a good weekend to watch the sunset. Not only are mirages a possibility, but also you might observe a sunspot in the twilight.