Photography And Half-Thoughts By Mitchell Hegman

...because some of it is pretty and some of it is not.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Green Flash

The green flash is real.  We thought our neighbor here at Na Hale O Keauhou was trying to send us on one of those proverbial “snipe hunts.”   Especially, since we are pale mainlanders from the snowbound north.
You know what a snipe hunt is, right?

A fool’s errand.

Somebody sends you out searching for a made-up creature or some mad-up thing.  You might be told that you need to carry a burlap bag or wear bright colored clothing or any number of such things.  The idea, in the end, is to embarrass you.

Our neighbor—for several days—has urged us to watch the sun sinking into the ocean.  “Sometimes,” he said, “you will see a green flash just as the sun sets into the ocean.”
Last night, six of us sat outside watching the sunset, chatting.  I am naturally poor at concentrating on a single task and, therefore took my eyes off the sun for a bit.  That’s when most of our group exclaimed that they saw the green flash.

Assured by everyone that they were not joking, I searched online for information about a green flash during ocean sunsets.  The green flash is not so much a flash as a momentary change of colors.  This change of color is simply a refractive phenomenon created by the atmosphere, which acts like a prism, and splits the final light from the sun into different colors.

Take a look at the video I have posted below.

If the video fails to launch, please click on this link:

--Mitchell Hegman


  1. I've not seen it myself but have been told about the "green flash." Thanks for the video