Stay Eat Events Weather Beaches

Strange Weather Cousins on the Oregon Coast: Green Flash and the Novaya Zemlya

Published 05/31/2018 at 6:35 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection Staff

Strange Weather Cousins on the Oregon Coast: Green Flash and the Novaya Zemlya

(Oregon Coast) - Sunsets are always a much anticipated moment on the Oregon coast, but some rare conditions give an extra big show. Two phenomena are related: the much-coveted Green Flash at Sunset and its more elaborate cousin, the Novaya Zemlya effect.

Latest Coastal Lodging News Alerts
In Seaside:
Includes exclusive listings; some specials even in summer
In Cannon Beach:
Includes rentals not listed anywhere else
In Manzanita, Wheeler, Rockaway Beach:
Check each listing for specials
In Pacific City, Oceanside:
Some Deals even in summer; great packages
In Lincoln City:
Major price drops on some dates and some lodgings
In Depoe Bay, Gleneden Beach:
Specials can still be found
In Newport:
Includes exclusive listings not found anywhere
In Waldport
New amenities offered; specials
In Yachats, Florence
Some specials; lodgings not listed anywhere else

The startling sight known as the "Green Flash at Sunset" is a little more apt to happen during summer's lovely weather and fall's "Second Summer" on the coast.

Under the right conditions, you may see a brief green blob directly above the sun, just before the last sliver dips below the horizon. Or the whole or the bulk of the sun turns green. A little more frequent is a slightly longer, green blob that lingers just above the sunset or around the outer edges, usually favoring one side or the other a bit. Often, it moves and shifts in size, taking a second to three or four seconds on average. Flash is a bit of a misnomer: it's longer than that.

It’s subtle, however.

This can mostly – and there’s a catch - happen on a day of no clouds. Yet it’s not completely limited to that, in spite of what the more conventional wisdom says about the phenomena.

Essentially, it’s the result of a variety of conditions that block out certain color bands for a time. There’s so much atmosphere between you and the horizon where the sun is disappearing that all color bands except the green get squeezed out.

This scientific oddity was for years a means of ridicule for people claiming to see it, but by the '70s it was actually documented on film.

The green flash is a cousin of an unusual ocean weather phenomenon called the Novaya Zemlya effect. Considered quite a rarity in some ways, it may actually be more common to the Oregon coast than many think.

This effect creates an illusion where it seems the sun is setting later than it really is – a kind of double-headed sunset or even a triple one.

In the simplest terms, it's a kind of polar image mirage of the sun right above itself.

According to the Mount Wilson Observatory in Pasadena, California, the Novaya Zemlya effect is a thin slit of “sunlight traveling along the curvature of the Earth even after the Sun has set. The narrow slit of light travels in azimuth with the Sun below the horizon. This effect occurs primarily at higher latitudes where the angle of the setting Sun to the local horizon can be very shallow.”

This can happen with sunrises as well, giving the impression the sun is rising earlier than it should be.

Many times it is accompanied by the famed Green Flash at Sunset – also the result of refraction. There, the last rays of the sun suddenly turn green for a few seconds. Or, in typical Novaya Zemlya fashion, a small green blob pops up above the sun. Pictured at the top is a series of green flash shots taken by Oregon Coast Beach Connection in the past.

The Novaya Zemlya phenomenon is named after the series of Russian islands known as the Novaya Zemlya, where it was first documented in the 1500s. Eerily, the phenomenon can also slightly resemble a nuclear blast mushroom cloud, and this is an island chain used by the Russians for nuclear testing. Oregon Coast Lodgings for this event - Where to eat - Maps - Virtual Tours. More green flash and novaya zemlya below:

Oregon Coast Lodging




More About Oregon Coast hotels, lodging.....

More About Oregon Coast Restaurants, Dining.....

 

Oregon Coast event or adventure you can't miss

 



Coastal Spotlight


LATEST Related Oregon Coast Articles

Fed Scientists Capture Incredible Wildlife, Landmark Images on N. Oregon Coast
A fantastic voyage that caught sea lions, tufted puffins, elusive rocks at Oceanside, Cannon Beach. Seaside Aquarium, science
Three Wild Beaches With Luxury Hideouts in Central Oregon Coast's Lincoln County
Where the chaos of the waves meets the seasonal wonders of Seal Rock, Waldport and Yachats
Ocean Health Alert for Lincoln City's D River Access, Central Oregon Coast
OHA issued the alert Tuesday because of high-than-normal levels of bacteria in the ocean waters there
Whale Numbers Soar Along Washington, Oregon Coast - Rarities Too
Unusual water, weather conditions bring in huge whale numbers, including a beaked whale, blue whale
Southern Oregon Coast Hosts Unusual Fest in October: 10 Days of Food, Outdoor...
October 18 - 27 along 135 miles of trails and shoreline. Restaurants, Yachats events, Newport events, travel tips
September Preview of Astoria, Cannon Beach, Seaside - N. Oregon Coast Fun-O-Rama
Rama Last embers of summer and beginning of fall bring a surge of activity. Cannon Beach events, Seaside events
Razor Clam Ban Expands on Southern Oregon Coast
From the south jetty of the Umpqua River down to the California border
On Seaside's Prom: Part Oregon Coast Cottage, Part Upscale Hotel with History
The front stares at the ocean's chaotic wonders, originally a mansion built in the early 1900s

Back to Oregon Coast

Contact Advertise on BeachConnection.net
All Content, unless otherwise attributed, copyright BeachConnection.net Unauthorized use or publication is not permitted

Oregon Coast Lodging
Rentals
Specials

Dining

Events Calendar

Oregon Coast Weather

Travel News

Search for Oregon Coast Subjects, Articles

Virtual Tours, Maps
Deep Details