Red Flash

By now you know, if you follow my blog, that I am a big fan of what we call Atmospheric Optics.
Mirages, Sun Dogs, Halos and so on.
This one is a very rare treat.
There are certain flashes of light that occur in very specific conditions, and only for an instant, like certain elemental isotopes in the nuclear laboratory. Unlike the scientific lab, these phenomena can be seen by anyone at all who cares to go out and look. Oh yes you must be vigilant and persistent, and you have to educate yourself as to where and when.
I am only a student of such things, but a diligent one.
Below the sun is a Red Flash, a beam of light refracted by a thin layer of dense air close to the earth’s surface. This refraction bends the light downward, and the red wavelength appears at the sun’s lower limb. It is visible because it is being magnified by a mirage, which you can detect by the way the sun appears to be melting into the horizon. This is an inferior mirage. The thin broken line of sunlight just above the sun’s reflection in the water is also part of the mirage.
This is Cook Inlet near Anchorage Alaska. The thin strip of land forming the horizon is the northern Kenai Peninsula.

KSP_0455 ac Red Flash Close

It is rare that I will provide a quote from another, but I do so tonight, here is my choice;

To see with one’s own eyes, to feel and judge without succumbing to the suggestive power of the fashion of the day, to be able to express what one has seen and felt in a trim sentence or even in a cunningly wrought word- is that not glorious? It is not a proper subject for congratulation? (Albert Einstein, 1934)

This piece of music is another offering of the unusual, an instrumental by It’s a Beautiful Day,

Don and Dewy


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20 Responses to Red Flash

  1. I says:

    How spectacular! And yes, it is glorious….Happy 1st week in December to you. xo

  2. Dianne says:

    Wow! I am lost for words. Thankyou for sharing this spectacular event. Great capture , Steve.I appreciate all you share up there in Alaska. I so enjoy your photography.Hugs from Ontario, CanadaDianne 🙂

  3. john says:

    The prism an sun….great optics….thanks for sharing….you have way more patience then I do.

  4. Pat says:

    Hmmm. I struggled to see the red flash so I did a web-search and found that there are also green flashes. They had a red flash as well, but it looked like a yellow flash. It\’s all a bit too flash for me… (perhaps being colour blind doesn\’t help for this!)

  5. Babblelot says:

    White bird in ah golden cage….I haven\’t heard that song in too long.Your photo magic moment you captured is magnificent Steve. Excellent!

  6. puzzle says:

    What a great moment! Some days ago, someone asked in Space "where are god\’s wonders nowadays", insisting they are not – I think, the response lies in your picture and sentence above: " these phenomena can be seen by anyone at all who cares to go out and look. Oh yes you must be vigilant and persistent, and you have to educate yourself as to where and when." because they are there, but people don\’t notice, because they feel not involved; skies phenomena seem diminished to decorative light show and healings, blessings, happiness and even the wonder of life seems to be something that comes with money and health care but nothing from one\’s own point of view. uh … thanks for reminding. 🙂

  7. kïrstin says:

    thats quite a shot 😉 makes me feel like i need to squint to look at it. light is an amazing thing …k☼

  8. Isabelle says:

    AMAZING!!!!Thanks for doing all the hard work and still sharing it with us!!Take care,Isa

  9. Flo says:

    Quite interesting. You see such amazing things up there. You\’re so fortunate. 🙂

  10. Terry says:

    That is just awesome. I\’m just speechless.

  11. Rambling says:

    Boy, Terry said it for me. Totally awesome and I am deeply impressed.

  12. Sherry says:

    Just amazing!

  13. Sheila says:

    As always, you\’ve captured a wonderful photograph. I get to see so many things through your pictures that I don\’t otherwise get to see. Thanks for sharing. Thanks also for the quote. I couldn\’t agree more with the saying. As a writer, it seems everyone is telling me if I write the same way as everyone else, I\’d get my book published. That\’s not going to happen. I\’ll just go unpublished if I have to be like everyone else. Each writer has a unique voice … and each photographer a unique sight … and that\’s what makes the world a unique place for each of us. This world would be a boring place if everyone thought and wrote alike or took the same types of pictures. Thanks for making Spaces a unique place to visit.

  14. Fizz says:

    I always love your work, you have a great eye. I do not and always appreciate the talen that others have for the arts… photography is my favorite, painting comes a distant second. It\’s because photography is real life… a still moment in time.You\’ve done good as usual.

  15. Kimmy says:

    The warm glow sure feels good coming through your blog Steve. 🙂 Beautiful as always!

  16. Jacque says:

    Alaska is definitely on my bucket list! I am mesmerized. Smiles from down south in Minnesota! 🙂

  17. Jana says:

    Hello Steve,I don\’t understand your writing it is too technical for me but I do know that I love your picture of Sun! It is beautiful and thanks to your hobby we can see it as well.Also thank you for your comment about NYC. If I could choose I would rather be in Alaska then in the NYC. I am glad I don\’t live there but for visiting it is an exciting city.Hugs to you. Jana.

  18. Jana says:

    oh, also I loved the music! :)I listened to it and the violins are amazing!

  19. Polly says:

    I must apologise for not commenting sooner, I keep coming back to see the beautiful sunset, bedazzled. One of two things that I find fascinating and hard to look at directly at the same time. (The other is the camera lense.) Was it ever fashionable to think the sky and sea were blue and that sand was yellow? Mr Einstein had one or two interesting ideas 🙂

  20. Here I Am says:

    Well scenes like this should help keep you warm in the winter. wow thats even warming me up just looking at it. Beautifull.

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