Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Infamous Green Flash

On this clear Surf Tuesday I saw something that I have been hearing about since I was a small child, the infamous green flash (not pictured here).  I have looked for the green flash for thirty years, and probably even claimed to have seen it a time or two but there is no mistaking it.  The green flash is real... the sun was green!
Here is how it works:  The sun emits every color of the rainbow.  Every color is made up of a different electromagnetic wavelength, in order according to their wavelengths from most energetic to least energetic they are: violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange and red.  As the sun disappears behind the horizon the light has to go through the thickest layer of atmosphere which refracts (bends) the light a lot more than it usually does (this is how sunsets are created).  As light refracts all of the colors get separated into the individual colors based on their wavelengths and since green is more energetic than red it refracts more and viola, the color green is directed right into your eye.  It only occurs on a very clear day with an unobstructed view of the horizon.  Many people associate the green flash with Hawaii (a trip prelude perhaps!?). 

1 comment:

  1. I bet you your sighting of the green flash is a prelude to your amazing adventure to the Islands. Wow. I love the sunset photo you did provide and the atmospheric lesson. Neat stuff Brady.


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