The Green Flash

There is a legend that if a couple, standing together, see the green flash, a beautiful optical effect that can occur at sunset or sunrise, they will stay together and in love for all time. San and Sib Melville travel tirelessly, seeking sunsets to show to their niece Helena Campbell and the handsome Aristobulus Ursiclos, who finally see the flash, fall in love and get married. This is the plot of perhaps Jules Verne’s most romantic novel, The Green Ray, published in 1882.

The effect, however, is no fiction. The chances of witnessing it are best through clean air and with a cloudless sky. Meteorological experts says that as the sun approaches the horizon, atmospheric refraction splits the colours of the solar disk into the rainbow colours, starting from the top with violet, blue then green. At sunset, the violet and blue are dispersed by the atmosphere but, at the moment when only the last sliver of the sun remains, the colour green becomes visible. That is, if you don’t blink; you will only have a second or two to see it or photograph it.

Here at El Sosiego the air is always clean. So we know that one day we will see the green flash and, even if we don’t, at least we can be sure we will continue to enjoy some of the most beautiful sunsets imaginable, particularly in autumn and winter. Why don’t you come and see for yourself?

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