The elusive green sunset

by Greg Lincoln

There is a phenomenon where the sun gives off a green tint or flash at its apex at the moment of sunset when the sun disappears below the horizon. It is a very rare and amazing thing that I have been wanting to see ever since I first heard of it a scant couple years ago.

This remarkable thing also can happen right at sunset and it lasts only for a couple seconds, maybe less.

For those who have seen it, it is described as beautiful and elusive. It is something that I would like to capture on video or on photograph. Some photographers have already done so but to see it for ourselves would be something that we would remember for a lifetime – and always try to see again.

Science describes it as light refracting in the atmosphere. As the light travels from the sun to the earth, it is bent separating the light into its different colors. Does your mom or gram have a prism hanging in her kitchen window and when the light passes through you see a rainbow on her walls? It is like that.

The reason that most see green is because green (and also blue and violet) have a shorter wavelength than the other colors and refract more strongly than the colors that have longer wavelengths. It sounds a little confusing but our Creator who made all things is not the author of confusion. It is perfection.

If you do research online, you will see that green is the most common hue captured in photographs. There is one person in Bethel that I know of who has seen this happen, and if you’re reading this – I hope that you will someday see it again!

Where can we see this most elusive green flash? Scientists say that the most frequent sightings occur at the ocean where the horizon is flat and the air is free of pollution. Our beautiful tundra home fits the bill, don’t you think? Prairies and deserts and even Antarctica have been places where this has been seen.

Wanting to see the spectacularism of a green flash sunset is almost like wanting to see your departed loved one once again, even if it is just a glimpse. They are similar because of the yearning in your heart for wanting them and you put all your hopes and wishes on the thought of just seeing them one more time. That one more time is the first of countless many, there is no limit.

In our dreams we can see them, and we may also see them in that moment of time between sleep and waking when all our troubles and toils of this life are forgotten and we only feel peace.

Okay folks, we would like to wish you a Happy 4th of July this week. I will be once again running in the Mount Marathon race in Seward and hoping for a good finish. Thank you for the gifts of our beloved salmon, and for always thinking of us and including us in your prayertime, when you stand in the gap for us and are close with our Lord. Quyana.