Fumie's Sphere

Insights into the worlds of winemaking and nature

Green Flash June 1, 2012

Filed under: Nature — Thorpe Vineyard @ 6:06 pm


“As the Sun sets or rises the shorter wavelengths of blue and green light may be visible longer since their bending by the earth’s atmosphere is greater. Occasionally a distinct green color is visible at the top edge of the sun producing the optical effect called the green flash.”
~From Meteorology by J. R. Eagleman, D. Van Nostrand Co.

I cannot recall when I first encountered this term. I might have been still in Tokyo or maybe college at Oswego studying meteorology. In either way the name was so intriguing that I got used to watching the sunset whenever possible once I came up to this Lake shore, spending a lot of time outdoors. The book says it usually lasts less than a second if I’m even lucky to catch it.

This April I was so fortunate to see it a few days in a row. It was almost unbelievable! Especially one chilly evening the green color lasted for at least a whole second, ending in a vivid sparkle of blue. It was stunning! A week later there was a beautiful conjunction of Venus and crescent Moon. The green flash didn’t appear after having a late season snow storm inland.

Now in June, the Sun is as high as it can reach in the sky. While looking for the green flash over the horizon, the smell of the grape blossoms surrounds me in the twilight. ‘Not tonight,’ robins and catbirds are telling me from the woods as more fireflies come in sight. — OK, maybe tomorrow; I promise. We will be here again at sunset to share the world we live in.


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