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AJ Oliver

Green Flash Caught on Video

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The green flash does occur in the video. The flash lasts less than a second and occurs just at the moment the sun sinks under the horizon. Put another way the flash occurs above the sun. I have made a screen scrape of the moment and it is in the picture below. 

 

I can understand the photographer's excitement and it's actually an awesome video moment. But the video needs better editing as it is very difficult to see the green flash, especially if you're not sure what to expect.

 

And the create confusion the photographer refers to whale spouts in the video sequence as well. The whales have nothing whatsoever to do with the green flash.

 

Green flashes are fascinating phenomena. And from the knower of all things worth knowing, Wikipedia: Green flashes and green rays are optical phenomena that sometimes occur right after sunset or right before sunrise. When the conditions are right, a green spot is visible above the upper rim of the disk of the sun. The green appearance usually lasts for no more than a second or two. Rarely, the green flash can resemble a green ray shooting up from the sunset (or sunrise) point. Green flashes occur because the atmosphere can cause the light from the sun to separate out into different colors.

green flash.jpg

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Knowing what big readers you Kiwis are . .

This reminds me of the book, "A Flash of Green" (1962) by John D. McDonald. That book was the first I had ever heard of the green flash phenomena. McDonald was a pretty good mystery writer - also wrote the book upon which "Cape Fear" was based. Me Mum liked his Travis MeGee series. 

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Fortunate to see it not just once but three times over about 5 seconds mid passage sailing from Fiji to NZ. Had trouble believing what I had seen but other crew (moniker here-Saline Solution ) saw the same thing. We were looking for it and 3 big swells at the right time must have triggered a moving Horizon. A very cool experience.

I have also seen it from the summit of Mt Whangaparapara with about 10 others on a school trip. The sunsets from the top can be pretty spectacular but you need to walk past the trig to the rocky outcrop. The walk back down is easy with a torch-worth doing. (not sure if track currently open after last years weather bomb...any one know?)

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