Astronomers in the Netherlands have discovered a world where the sun is square. It is Earth. On June 6th Jan Koeman was watching the sunset from Lauwersoog, and this is what he saw:
© Jan Koeman
"The sunset was a very weird one," says Koeman. "Inversions in the atmosphere gave it some very odd shapes."

UK atmospheric optics expert Les Cowley was in the Netherlands last week. "Conditions were favorable for this kind of mirage," he says. "To see weird miraged suns look out at sunrise in very cold weather and at sunset when it is hot. We had beautiful hot sunny weather all last week in the Netherlands. The sun heated the land and topmost layers of the sea to generate by early evening strong temperature inversions, layers of unusually warm air beneath cooler air. The setting sun rays slanted through the layers where they were bent to form multiple image slices that combine into outlandish shapes and even stacked pancakes. Sometimes tiny green flashes can be photographed on the topmost pancake."

"I was looking for the green flash," adds Koeman, "but this time no success. More sunsets will follow."