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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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  #21  
Old 05-05-2002
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green flash


The green flash is something used to impress new sailors, or at least those who have never sailed Atlantic offshore. It can also be used to keep morale up through bad weather, if the person does not know that it does not happen in a cloudy situation. Kinda gets everyone together just before sundown, makes for great dinner conversation, especially if you are expecting a fairly bad night and the weather is due to be bad for a few more days.

It does have to do with light refraction, I would expect. I have seen it 16 times now. Each time there were absolutely no clouds from horizon to at least directly overhead. In all the times I have watched the lovely Key West sunsets, and sunsets from the islands, rum punch in hand, I have not seen it from land.

When it does happen after you have played it up to people who have heard about it and think it''s not real, it is fantastic. Makes it even better.

So don''t stare yourself silly. If the weather is right it will happen. On the other hand, if you''re having a yucky trip and the people onboard have only heard a bit about it, it is a great conversation topic - diverts worry about the weather.

Mary
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  #22  
Old 07-26-2011
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I read some where that a pilot of a Blackbird spy plane extended the time of the "green flash" by flying towards the sunset and adjusting his speed to match. Not sure where I read that though so it could be apocryphal for all I know.
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Old 07-26-2011
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People are less likely to see the green flash if:
1) they spend time looking at the sun before the last remnant remains.
2) the horizon is disturbed with larger waves.
3) they expect a moment of brighter light. (it's quick, not intense)
4) the air is humid or hazy or clouds are present.

The spectrum is produced at the limb of the earth in the same manner that white light is refracted in a simple cardboard slit spectroscope. There is no special inversion or reflection of the spectrum and it can be seen on land with the requisite flat horizon such as salt flats or a flat plain. If you consider the visible light as red-orange-yellow-green-blue-indigo-violet; the middle segment (yellow-green-blue) can be briefly distinguished as the "green flash". Of course, we all easily see the early diffused red & orange, so nobody exclaims this "flash" and thoretically one could see the indigo-violet flash, but this requires an even greater sensitivity. The green flash phenomenon is clear and simple optical physics and no mystery. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 07-26-2011
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have seen the Green Flash in both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans. And a couple of times in the GoM. One aspect of the atmosphere, is that it has to free of pollutions and clear.
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Old 07-26-2011
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I have seen it just off of the coast of Uahu. The sky has to be clear of couds from you to over the horizon. Wait until just the second the sun sets. Lensing, (prism) from curvature of the ocean causes it. I can't see it from the gulf coast, (curvature of the land to the west blocks it). Key west should be able to see it on sunrise, but not on sunset.
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Old 07-26-2011
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ive seen it here a few times and my friend was able to get a pic of it one time when we were waiting for it on Sunset Cliffs. turned out great, she sent it to me. i will see if i can find it...
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Old 07-26-2011
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Hear in hawaii you can see the green flash probably 30% of all sunsets that occur over water (not land). What you need is no clouds where the sun is setting and a very clear visability (which hawaii normally has). Also it helps to be at an elevation of at least 20 feet above the earth or water surface (deck of a cruise ship works well). The higher up you are it seems to work better- I live at elevation 400feet and regularly see the green flash. Best to not look directly at the sun until it is just ready to entirely slip below the horozion. Then, for a split second just after the entire sun is gone you will see a speck of green for a split secon- the green flash. I could see how a plane flying west at a high altitude would extend the time of the green flash- it is extending the time of the sunset time.
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Old 07-26-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapnBilll View Post
I have seen it just off of the coast of Uahu. The sky has to be clear of couds from you to over the horizon. Wait until just the second the sun sets. Lensing, (prism) from curvature of the ocean causes it. I can't see it from the gulf coast, (curvature of the land to the west blocks it). Key west should be able to see it on sunrise, but not on sunset.
I have never seen the green flash on a sun rise but have seen hundreds on a sunset- not shure why- maybe the dust generated by day helps generate the green flash.
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Old 07-26-2011
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I'm stunned by the widespread phenomenon of computers on which the Google search feature is be disabled. I wonder if Google knows?
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Old 07-26-2011
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Although I have never seen a green flash I did manage to find some Google images here:

green flash - Google Search
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