Green Flash? No, But Just as Nice

The other night while out for a walk I watched as the sun dipped deeper and deeper.  I saw the tops of the trees on the distant shore as the sun cast the last light of the day onto them.  I’ve never seen a green flash on an ocean although I have watched the sunset there many times. I didn’t see the green flash on this night either but I did see a beautiful sight. The sky around the sun changed from orange to red and farther away the clouds turned purple and blue.  It was truly beautiful.

It’s easy to see a gorgeous sunset on the Gunflint Trail, not quite as easy to see a green flash. If you’re interested in how to see a green flash you can visit this website, but here’s the quick and simple version.

“You can see green flashes with the eye, when sky conditions are just right, if you are looking toward a very clear and very distant horizon. That’s why those who see green flashes most often see them over a sea horizon. You also must be looking just at sunset, at the last moment before the sun disappears below the horizon. And you have to be careful not to look too soon. Wait until just the thinnest rim of the sun appears above the horizon. If you look too soon, the light of the sunset will dazzle (or damage) your eyes, and you’ll miss your green flash chance that day.”

http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/~aty/pictures/Jan7cropped.jpg

A nice flash taken from Torrey Pines, CA (about 100m above the sea). This is a classical form seen from seaside cliffs, associated with the “Mock Mirage.”

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