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The Green Flash: Are you a believer or a hater?

greenflashIf you are a sunset watcher, you have probably heard about “the green flash.”  Not the super hero, but the little “flash” of green that appears just as the sun disappears behind the horizon.
I have never really been a believer in the green flash. After growing up in Florida and watching hundreds of sunsets, I had never seen this so-called flash…until last week.  After years of being a green flash hater, I have finally seen the light!  Yes, on July 4th 2016, watching the sunset from the north end of Anna Maria Island, I finally saw the green flash.  Now, from my experience, I would not really say that the “flash” portion of its name is not really an appropriate description.  I did not see a “flash,” but rather a little green spec.  And yes, that little green spec was pretty cool.

What to Look for:

When you are watching the sunset, watch hard at the very end (don’t blink). When the last little portion of the sun just gets ready to sink behind the horizon, you might just see that little blip of green right before the sun disappears behind the water.  The green blip usually only last for about a second, so don’t blink or look away!

Why the Green Flash Occurs:

According to Wikipedia, “Green flashes occur because the atmosphere can cause the light from the sun to separate out into different colors.”A green flash is more likely to be seen in stable, clear air, when more of the light from the setting sun reaches the observer without being scattered. Other causes of the green flash? Mirage and refraction. These two things work together to create a sunset phenomenon that will always keep us talking…and watching.
So, here’s to clean air and another great sunset!