Monday, January 19, 2009

Xplore to Antarctica: 19 Jan 2009

Green Flash Myth from Jules Verne's stories says that those who have seen the green flash are empowered with the ability to look into their own hearts and to be able to recognize true love ! If that's the case then why - after seeing the green flash four times in my sailing life - is it that I am still single ?!! Oh well, maybe it's because I spend too much time at sea. Anyway, last night at sunset it looked possible that we might see the green flash, however it didn't occur as there was low cloud on the horizon. This morning though, at 5.20am; myself and first mate Audrey were doing the Dog Watch, and low and behold as the sun was rising giving a beautiful painting of reds across a stratocumulous sky, I was looking intently on the horizon and there we both saw the instantaneous green flash milliseconds before the top rim of the sun broke through. It happens because the earth's atmosphere acts as not only a "lens" but also as a "prism" to the light rays and the colours that are transmitted from the sun. Red is a long wave light that has the greatest distance, hence why you always see reds in the sky at sunrise and sunset. Green and blue are short wave colours with blue being the colour which is seen most at high mid-day sun and least at sunrise / sunset. Green though holds its own and if the conditions are crisp and clear then the light of green can be seen as the sun rises or breaks, normally only at sea. Why is it seen as a flash? Well because red and green are at two different frequencies there is a split second difference between the two light colours, effectively giving a green and red sun. More news of our travels soon ~ The team onboard Xplore

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