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Folie a Deux - Do you believe in Green Flashes? Then how about Blue Flashes?

Blue Flashes

Green flashes are rather rare phenomena that occur just as the sun sets [or rises] turning just the upper part of the sun green, but an even rarer occurrence is a blue flash, which is basically the same thing as a green flash, but it’s blue.

To understand how a blue flash works you need to know how a green flash works: first off the flash is created because the sun’s actual position on the horizon is lower than it appears as a result of light bending when it enters the atmosphere. Violet and blue light rays having short wave lengths are bent more than the longer wave-length yellow, orange and red light rays. Green rays are intermediate in length and are bent at an intermediate angle. Therefore you see the green sunrays between red and blue, though in reality, these colors overlap, which brings us to the point of the blue flash. The blue flash occurs instead of the green flash in cases where there are very few particles in the air, since blue light can’t be absorbed into particles in the atmosphere, it makes the sun appear blue.

Blue flashes are more likely to be seen at sunrise instead of sunset because the particles in the atmosphere have not had a chance to settle down closer to ocean level. One way to tell how many particles are in the atmosphere is just looking at the sun before it sets: if it’s more red in color, that means there are more particles in the atmosphere and you are more likely not to get a green flash, and you are not going to get a blue flash, but if it is more white or yellow, you have a higher chance of getting a green, or if you are lucky a blue flash. Which is why green and blue flashes are best seen from the ocean, far away from cities and towns.

So if you’re in a place far away from populated areas, watch the sunset/sunrise for a green/blue flash.

Lucy Ramsey
sv Folie a Deux

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