We sat on our lanai during our first night in Kona and I admired the beautiful coastline while listening to the hypnotizing rhythm of the ocean. Enjoying some liquid aloha, an ice cold Kona Longboard from the Kona Brewing Company, we watched as the sun danced across the cloudless western sky. It was our first visit to the Big Island and we had one of the best lanais on the western coast to watch the sunset.
As the sun began to hug the horizon I turned to my husband and said, “I wonder if we will see the Green Flash tonight?”
His quizzical sideways glance my direction made me realize that he had never heard of the elusive phenomenon known as the Green Flash.
While it sounds like a superhero; it’s not. And people say that it’s a myth; also not true. The Green Flash is a natural occurring phenomenon with a scientific explanation for people
like me who want to know how everything works:
The day has to be clear with no clouds on the horizon as the sun begins to set. As the last part of the disk slips below the horizon a bright green flash is sometimes seen. The scientific explanation (according to Maui Revealed) states that when the sun’s rays pass through the thickest part of the atmosphere the light is bent and split into different components (much like a prism refracting light into the colors of the rainbow). The light that is the most bent is green, which is why we see the rare green flash.
If there are any clouds on the horizon, you won’t see the green flash. It’s also important to note that you should avoid looking directly at the sun until the very last moment before the sun dips below the horizon–we wouldn’t want you to burn your retinas.
I had read about the Green Flash, but I never thought that I would actually see it. Now that I think about it, it’s totally bucket list worthy because of how elusive it can be. That night I saw my first Green Flash and it will go down as one of the most memorable sunsets I’ve yet to witness. Over the next ten nights, my husband and I tried to spot the Green Flash once again, and the phenomenon eluded us. I guess we will have to keep searching…
Have you see the Green Flash?