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Paul M

The Green Flash

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It seems ages since I saw a good clear sky. The weather hasn't been too great.

So I was pleasantly surprised while driving along Blackpool's North Promenade this evening.

It was a miserably dull rainy day all day here but there must have been a clearing off to our west. Sandwiched between the seaward horizon and a solid, grey overcast was a lovely orange sunset. It slowly slid below the horizon and I mentioned to my wife that we might see the Green Flash. That's when the last sliver of sun can appear to turn bright green as it blinks out of view. I've seen it a few times. Not always easy to see even when present.

I wasn't hopeful on this occasion. I didn't even pull over. But just as the sun's upper limb slid out of view it turned dazzling emerald green. It must have been obvious because the wife was pleasantly surprised that it happened.

Very happy to pull that little gem out of the bag on a very dull day! :)

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Nice. Never seen it myself despite looking for it on a few occasions.

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Perhaps seeing the Sun set over the sea gives a better chance of seeing it?

Inland, obstructions on the horizon will mean the Sun disappears a little before the 'real' sunset....maybe?!

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Perhaps seeing the Sun set over the sea gives a better chance of seeing it?

Inland, obstructions on the horizon will mean the Sun disappears a little before the 'real' sunset....maybe?!

Definitely.

It needs to be a seaward horizon or an exceptionally flat and distant land horizon.

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk

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Perhaps seeing the Sun set over the sea gives a better chance of seeing it?

Inland, obstructions on the horizon will mean the Sun disappears a little before the 'real' sunset....maybe?!

Seeing the green flash on a perfect sea horizon is not always a foregone conclusion.

I set myself up in what I thought were ideal conditions on Alderney once and never saw a thing!

DSCF0757_1024_zps7uzde6zp.jpg

DSCF0763_1024_zpsw82yccs2.jpg

DSCF0770_1024_zpsv4wctlqm.jpg

So I presume some other atmospheric effects must also come into play?

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Seeing the green flash on a perfect sea horizon is not always a foregone conclusion.

I set myself up in what I thought were ideal conditions on Alderney once and never saw a thing!

So I presume some other atmospheric effects must also come into play?

It certainly isn't easy to see and it's probably fair to say that it actually doesn't happen that often.

My understanding is that it's a product of strong refraction of the upper limb that has actually already set!

The longer wavelengths (reds) don't make it back over the horizon but the shorter wavelengths do. We're most sensitive to green and perhaps any blue gets hopelessly scattered or absorbed or something.

So I think we are seeing a "green" mirage!

The atmospheric conditions will need to be just correct.

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Pleased that this can be seen from the UK. I just heard about the green flash recently so I'll be out skulking around the west coast this winter hee hee

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It certainly isn't easy to see and it's probably fair to say that it actually doesn't happen that often.

My understanding is that it's a product of strong refraction of the upper limb that has actually already set!

The longer wavelengths (reds) don't make it back over the horizon but the shorter wavelengths do. We're most sensitive to green and perhaps any blue gets hopelessly scattered or absorbed or something.

So I think we are seeing a "green" mirage!

The atmospheric conditions will need to be just correct.

Yes, it is the earth bending the light and what you actually see is already technically below the horizon which is why the best opportunity will invariably be over sea. Even rarer than the green flash is the blue flash caused in exactly the same way. Sadly I have to confess I've seen neither!

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Im on top if a hill, and have a perfect eastern sea horizon from upstairs. Ive looked, never seen it yet.

Sent from my iPhone so excuse the typos!

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Never seen the Green Flash myself, but it does occur obviously, just as the last portion of the sun disappears below the horizon,

it lasts on a second or so, so it is a brief event..

  

  I wonder if anyone has seen it as good as the image below.

Ron.

post-567-0-38649100-1444810838.jpg

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I saw it last summer one morning. It put the icing on the cake of a wonderful summer nights astronomy :-)

Sent from my GT-N7100 using Tapatalk

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I'm told green flashes are regularly seen by air pilots, particularly when flying westwards (the sunset is slowed). I have seen it once. It was over in a moment. It's a bit like "The Door in The Wall" by H. G. Wells .. perhaps.

P

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Took this photo twenty years ago off the back of my brothers boat in Saint Martin in the Caribbean. f2f47939e2e35343c61f2ba39264928c.jpg

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Fascinating, I had never heard of this before.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_flash

Along with the Zodiacal Light and Gegenschein, the Green Flash doesn't get so much coverage in modern astronomy books.

Technology and hardcore science is drawing us away from the pleasures of simple sky watching. Well, that and light pollution...

Having said that, I haven't ever seen the gegenschein and even with my seaward western horizon I've never convincingly bagged the zodiacal light :(

So by comparison the Green Flash is easy peasy! :) 

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Seen it once - from ayers rock. Now that was dark.

Sent from my iPhone so excuse the typos!

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that's what I like Kev, npc for the rock. (seriously, no jokes)

michael

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Mmmm. The only problem was later that night i was at the hotel and got the bins out. I stood on the road a bit away from it until a security chap informed me " you don't want to stand there mate, thats were the snakes are cos the roads warm"! Eck!!

Sent from my iPhone so excuse the typos!

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Interesting, sounds like an entirely different effect to what seems to be the modern description!

Sent from my SM-G903F using Tapatalk

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In French it's called 'Le Rayon Vert' or green ray and is the name of a film which spins the slow tale of a disaffected young woman getting nothing out of her summer holiday till just near the end when romance lights it up. She sees the green flash, too, of course!

The Gegenshein is difficult. A very experienced guest once said he thought he could see it so I asked him to say nothing about where it was till I'd had a try. It really was marginal for me but when I thought I had it I pointed the laser and he said that that was where he was looking as well.

The zodiacal light is easy here, though I had a good guide, a retired French professional astronomer whose PhD, like Brian May's, was on the zodiacal light. It seems that it was very important to the Pharoahs, too.

Never seen the green flash but with an elevated western horizon I won't see it at home and finding a west facing coast around here won't be easy! I should have tried from Portugal, of course, while on holiday. Curses! Probably the ideal place since it isn't short of west facing coastline...

Olly

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Wait... you saw it lat summer one morning??

I am lucky enough to live by he see and have a reasonable photo... will ty to find it now.

Mike

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Wait... you saw it lat summer one morning??

I am lucky enough to live by he sea and have a reasonable photo... will ty to find it now.

Mike

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In French it's called 'Le Rayon Vert' or green ray and is the name of a film which spins the slow tale of a disaffected young woman getting nothing out of her summer holiday till just near the end when romance lights it up. She sees the green flash, too, of course!

The Gegenshein is difficult. A very experienced guest once said he thought he could see it so I asked him to say nothing about where it was till I'd had a try. It really was marginal for me but when I thought I had it I pointed the laser and he said that that was where he was looking as well.

The zodiacal light is easy here, though I had a good guide, a retired French professional astronomer whose PhD, like Brian May's, was on the zodiacal light. It seems that it was very important to the Pharoahs, too.

Never seen the green flash but with an elevated western horizon I won't see it at home and finding a west facing coast around here won't be easy! I should have tried from Portugal, of course, while on holiday. Curses! Probably the ideal place since it isn't short of west facing coastline...

Olly

The Gengenshein (Counter Glow) is suposed to quite hard to spot in comparison to the Zodiacal Light.

I would love to visit a world class dark sky site where it is possible see the entire Zodiacal Band!

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