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Valerie Harbin was aboard the Naples Princess when she filmed the sunset and captured a green flash. (Video courtesy Valerie Harbin)

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Sunset admirers and astronomy photographers know it well, but rarely have any witnessed the green flash. That's the name given to a flash that sometimes appears at sunset when the sun dips below the horizon. 

Valerie Harbin, 35, from Fort Myers Beach, wasn't a believer of the green flash until Tuesday night. Harbin was working a private charter as a crew leader on the Naples Princess when the boat stopped at Gordon Pass and she saw a greenish hue around the sun.

Working on the Naples Princess for 2 1/2 years, Harbin had seen a greenish hue a handful of times before but never a flash. This time, however, she pulled out her phone to take a video and caught the green flash.

"This is not something you see all the time," she said. "I feel like I got lucky. Usually, I don't record the sunset."

Harbin shared the video with her captain and the people around her and everyone was ecstatic that they witnessed something so rare.

[Viewers waching the video above will see a quick flash at the start of the video at 00:01]

Harbin's husband, Zack, was the one who told her about the green flash phenomena. But she didn't think it was real.

"I just thought, 'Yeah, you're making this up,'" she said. "Sure enough, when I watched the video I said, 'I believe you now.'"

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Astronomer Andrew Young of San Diego State University in San Diego, California, believes there are two reasons for the green flash.

The first is that the Earth's atmosphere bends and scatters the sun's light in such a way to make the green flash visible, if only for a split second.

Secondly, Young said that when we watch a sunset, the bright red light we observe obscures our eyes' color receptors just enough to see the green flash.

Whether you think the green flash is real or not, it's always nice to have an extra excuse to sit and catch a sunset.

If you're interested: 22 places to eat, drink while watching the sunset in Southwest Florida

#LiveSWFL: By car, foot and trolley: How to spend the perfect day in Naples

A good read: Something old, something new: Naples couple blends a Chinese, American wedding

 

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