Friday, December 27, 2013

The Green Flash, the Green Rim, and Coastal Sunsets

I'm in a beautiful place, no doubt about it. I'm in central Oregon on the Siuslaw River visiting for the holidays, exploring new terrain that I've never really seen before. Luckily, we have the time to linger for a few days instead of rushing home, so it actually feels right to sit on the porch and just enjoy life and my relatives (whom I love spending time with).
And what a porch! I took advantage of clearing skies to watch the sun set tonight. I've got the new camera and I am still learning its capabilities, so I decided to catch the whole drama of the sun disappearing below the distant horizon. I also hoped to catch the legendary "green flash", which I have never seen (despite my hopes in previous posts).
I probably still haven't seen it, but I was reading about these things, and noted that a "green rim" can sometimes be seen as well. If my camera is delivering true colors, I think I captured the green rim at the very least, across the top of the disk of the sun.
 The green flash is a sudden flash of greenish light above the sun at the moment of sunset, and it is said to last only a second or so. As the sun dips into the horizon, the layers of the atmosphere will cause some of the sunlight to be refracted, with red and orange on the lower parts of the disk along with green (and rarely blue) across the top.
If I caught the flash at all, it was probably here, as this was the only green I could see while I was snapping the pictures. I leave it to the judgement of those out there who have seen the green flash before as to what I caught this evening. I welcome your thoughts and observations!


Gaelyn said...

Looks green but I've never seen the flash. Nice place to hang out. Happy New Year!

Andrew Alden, Oakland Geology blog said...

The green flash isn't always a flash per se, just an appearance. I've seen three, but two were at dawn. Naturally when it's the first bit of sun it seems bright. The one at sunset was more of a glimmer, like this but more pronounced. I think your sighting qualifies. But keep trying!

Katrina said...

That sure looks green to me. I've seen green flashes several times from the Dry Tortugas in Florida. About half were like your picture and the others were more extensive.

Cathy Crandall said...

Having heard about the green flash, I watched for it the last time we were in Hawaii visiting my father. He has a condo that sits above sea level and it's a great place to watch the sun set. Whether the power of suggestion or reality, I saw green just as the orange dipped below the horizon. I think a second is too lengthy for what I saw. It did seem more like a flash.