The mysterious (and elusive) green flash
Sailors have told countless tales about it. Scientists have doubted its existence. Many a beach-goer has hoped for a glimpse of it. I myself have missed it by mere seconds and have been on a mission to see one ever since.
The 'green flash' is an optical effect caused by the refraction of sunlight in the atmosphere during sunset and sunrise.
It was first documented by Captain George Back during an arctic expedition in 1836-1837. Since then, it has been fabled, debated, sought after and celebrated. Thanks to modern photography (example photos, video) the effect has been proven to exist. Thus we are not searching the skies in vain.
One only need a clear view of sunset (or sunrise) over a flat, unobstructed horizon, such as from the open sea or a mountaintop, to see it. Clear, dry, unpolluted air is ideal.
As the world turns, being on the East Coast doesn't help our chances of viewing a green flash at sunset. But to our good fortune, it has supposedly been sighted while looking west over the Chesapeake Bay. Though a glimpse is rare, following a few tips can increase our chances.
Have you seen the mysterious green flash? If so, let us know where and when with a comment below.
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