The Mythical Green Flash

For decades now, whenever my travels have taken me on an ocean voyage, people have told me about the proverbial “green flash” that is supposed to happen when the last sliver of the3 sun’s disk is about to sink into the ocean horizon. “Yeah, right”, was my reaction. I figured this was nothing but fake news.

Well, folks, I am now a convert, a true believer!

I was on an evening cruise along the Na Pali coast of Kauai. I was about to put my camera gear away, the sun was sinking quickly, and I said to myself, “what the heck”. I took out my trusty Nikon and took some snaps as the sun was about to disappear. Much to my amazement, I witnessed the green disk!

The disk I saw sometimes appears as a flash if environmental conditions are right. What we see is the sun’s rays diffracted, much like a prism, through the thicker atmosphere at the horizon. If just the right amount of moisture is present, the green disk can disperse through the mist and appear as a flash.

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