Green flash video

Green Flash Video: Capturing a Spectacular Atmospheric Phenomenon

Have you ever witnessed a mesmerizing optical phenomenon known as the green flash? This captivating event occurs just as the sun dips below the horizon, creating a brief burst of vibrant green light. While it may seem like a rare occurrence, the green flash can be captured on video, allowing us to relive the magic again and again.

One remarkable example of a green flash captured on video occurred at the Golden Gate Bridge in Berkeley, California. During the spring and fall seasons, for a few precious days, the sun sets perfectly between the towers of this iconic bridge. On November 4, 2005, something even more extraordinary happened - an inferior mirage green flash appeared.

The conditions that day were just right. A thin layer of warm air near the ocean's surface contributed to the formation of this mesmerizing phenomenon. Thankfully, Paul Kamen was there to witness and document this extraordinary event using his Canon S2-IS camera with a 432 mm lens (35mm lens equivalent). The resulting video provides a stunning visual representation of the green flash in all its glory.

The video captured by Paul Kamen showcases the green flash in incredible detail. As the sun slowly sinks below the horizon, a brief burst of intense green light emerges, creating a breathtaking spectacle. This phenomenon is caused by atmospheric refraction, where the Earth's atmosphere acts like a prism, bending the sun's rays and separating them into their constituent colors.

It is important to note that capturing a green flash on video requires patience and a bit of luck. These phenomena are fleeting and occur in just a matter of seconds. To successfully record a green flash, one must be prepared and ready to capture the moment as soon as it happens. Paul Kamen's dedication and skill in capturing this event are truly commendable.

The video itself is a testament to the beauty and wonder of atmospheric optics. By watching it, we can gain a deeper appreciation for the natural phenomena that occur in our skies. The green flash, though brief, leaves a lasting impression on those lucky enough to witness it firsthand.

If you're interested in experiencing the green flash for yourself, it's important to note that these events are relatively rare and require specific atmospheric conditions to occur. Coastal areas with clear horizons and stable air masses are the best locations to spot this phenomenon. Additionally, timing is crucial, as the green flash can only be seen during sunrise or sunset.

In conclusion, the green flash is a captivating atmospheric phenomenon that can be captured on video, allowing us to relive its beauty time and time again. Paul Kamen's video of the green flash at the Golden Gate Bridge in Berkeley, California is a stunning example of this elusive event. By witnessing this spectacle, we gain a deeper understanding of the wonders of our natural world and the incredible optical phenomena that occur within it. So, keep your eyes on the horizon and your camera ready - you never know when you might catch a glimpse of the green flash.

Golden Gate Flash

As seen from Berkely, California for a few days every spring and fall, the sun sets between the towers of the Golden Gate Bridge.

On November 4, '05 a thin layer of warm air close to the ocean helped produce an additional spectacle - this inferior mirage green flash.

Paul Kamen (site) caught it on video with a Canon S2-IS at 432 mm (35mm lens equivalent).


Image and video ©2005 Paul Kamen, shown with permission.

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Reference Atmospheric Optics

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  • "Green flash video". Atmospheric Optics. Accessed on December 10, 2023.

  • "Green flash video". Atmospheric Optics, Accessed 10 December, 2023

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