Home - Intro - Compare - Differ. Refraction - Discussion - Polarization - Terminator - Moon - Definitions - Cold vs Warm

Double Sunset - Data - Sunset Sequence - Homage - Sunrise - Last Line - Global Warming - Archives

From the EH2R log book

Data for 2008

Data for 2007

Data for 2006

Data for 2005

Data for 2003

Data for 2001 and 2002

Back to current data

Dateline Resolute Bay 74 43 north 94 57 West

New generation sequences have exact times and or coordinates, meaning that bearings are extremely precise. There are 5 locations where the following pictures were taken. Three in Resolute Bay, 2 in Montreal. Montreal sequences are denoted, otherwise all other pictures are from Resolute Bay. Please note the records so far, lowest sunset ever filmed was in Resolute bay in 1987, lower than –4.4 degrees, 2nd place was in Resolute November 2002 at –3.3 degrees. Greatest number of Green flashes in one sunset observation was seen February 3 2003, several dozen were seen. To date no official Almanac nor sun tables explain nor acknowledge that many of the following events can exist.

Beginning 2004


Sunrise 2004 was quite unlike sunrise of February 3 2003. The basic playing field, Barrow Strait open water, was about the same. 2004 lapse rate was steeper then 2003 (0.11 degrees C/m vs 0.08 degrees C/m in 2003). But the main distinguishing feature was the lack of Green flashes in 04. 02/03/2003 had dozen of green flashes, some stacked on top of each other, while 02/03/2004 had very few, smaller quite narrow and unimpressive. 02/03/2004 had one distinction over 03, 2 sunrises, a relatively rare event, a lame first sunrise and apparently weak sunset –1.7 degrees , changed into a remarkable strong 2nd sunrise , ending in a sunset at –2.62 degrees, 3rd all time lowest for Resolute. What happened? 2 Weather systems, one warm, South to Southeast (First day), showed without a doubt that the horizon is not at all loaded with uniform air. To the Southwest a cold high pressure system (from the mainland) brought the sun back up again, making a second day in one. The sun in effect helped define the air masses surrounding Resolute Bay. The official sunrise from the long night was forecasted for February 5.


Feb 3 2004 zoomed. On a few occasions you can see a very weak green flash amongst steam from open water. The –1.48 degrees picture was of particular interest, probably caused by multiple green flashes stacked on top of a higher sun. –2.60 degrees shows a double line just prior to sunset, on a horizon devoid of land mass



A closer look of February 3 2nd day sun. Much similar with what appears to be a Wegener Blank strip, it is likely not, the sun is just above the sea ice horizon, this gives a look at when the sun shines through a distant High pressure center.



A split image of the horizon (including sun line) can be seen, the lower image, should be an inferior mirage. The much weaker sunset shows that the cold air of February 3 is no longer present, -1.82 is a typical weak refraction boost for a sunset.


On 20 February the sun mimicked the hill horizon by bending itself in symmetry with the slope. There was a remarkable slanted hill line, not filmed, but seen. The point where the sun disappeared is about one degree above the true horizon.



February 21, Apparently mundane but not so, February 21 2004 hill sunset sequence has remarkable features. Low clouds are behind the hill, some Stratocumulus are just above most pictures. Distorted aureoles are quite fascinating, especially since they conform with the distorted sun on most occasions, and then sometimes not so. The sun again is bent according to the hill profile, clouds in the distant background stay somewhat horizontal with a slight bend in symmetry to fit the hill slope. The lapse rate was +0.07 degrees C/m on a particularly strange lower atmospheric profile. The tropopause was a mere 5.6 Km high with an extremely cold upper stratosphere.



Many effects were captured on February 23. The main one is the Ice Crystal pillar on top of the sun. There are at least 3 other optical effects to consider, Aureole elongation, cloud flashes, and a faint but all of a sudden rare green flash, rare for 2004, at least at this point in time.



Strong refraction was captured, considering a boost of 0.8 degrees at a 2 degree high horizon. Also amazing single, bright flashes were observed at sunset, unfortunately the telescope was fogged up, but each light was distant by 5 to 10 meters apart on the hill top, like micro suns, quite bright and white, on CCD they appeared green.


Looking for hill lines, as with the same time last year, was made hard by background clouds Ice fog and Ice Crystals. Removing the filter from the telescope, same as last year, gave huge aureoles, which virtually masked the sun line, if there was one. Sunset was the same as last year indicating a warming in the once very cold atmosphere, this was confirmed by differential refraction shots showing an expanded vertical sun diameter and also balloon sounding showing a much higher tropopaupse, from 5.4 to 7.2 Km. From now on the data page will have a brief description of the upper air profile: -29/46, -21.6/1592,-54/7388.-79.6/31000. Surface temperature C/height (gpM), temp top of inversion/height, temperature tropopause/height, temperature stratosphere/height.


Island Mirage blocking the sun confuses a formal sunset time. Two distant Islands were inverted in a inferior mirage , the rectangular sun skimmed on top of the Southwards Island, until it reached the gap separating the next Island to the North. Once in the gap, the sun image inverted itself as well, causing it to look thicker. However as it approached the Northward Island the sun image vanished behind the inverted Island mirage. Surface lapse rate from a balloon sounding at sunset gave an LPR of +0.05 C/m. -34.5/46,-29.5/139,-53.4/6035,-73.2/28704. Differential refraction readings are still quite narrowed by a cold atmospheric profile.



This lame sunset boost indicates a warming off the air, despite cold surface temperatures. Somewhat thick ice fog may have played a small obstruction role, but this is unlikely.


It is not a contradiction, although it should be. Last few sunsets were not very tardy, unlikely given cold temperatures over ground. There has been recent inflation of sun disk vertical diameters as given by differential refraction readings. This seems to point to an up coming explosive warming of the total atmosphere, as it has already happened in the stratosphere. I am fascinated by today’s low tropopause , 4.9 km in height. When comparing to the ‘standard’ , which was a significant sunset having a great boost (of –2.29), today’s main distinguishing feature is the tropopause, the ‘standard’ tropopause was 320 mb high, while today it was at 500 mb. The tropopause in effect stops adiabatic cooling of the troposphere. Thus the ‘standard’ had a tropopause 10 degrees colder then today. Although the ‘standard’ surface temperature was a mere –25 C, the ‘standard’ had a far greater boost without a significant inversion as well. This data points again to the total profile refraction contribution. What will be interesting is to see if a significant Polar air mass change is about to come. Measuring a temperature profile uniquely at one location has its limits, but sunset analysis may compensate and forecast a little better. –38.5/46,-35.7/1789,-50.2/4945,-62.2/28808

It has been a while since clear sky appeared. March 19, 2004 was worth the wait, a very sharp line came about, with a moderate sunset at -1.77 degrees.

Higher magnification shows that the line mimicks the horizon surface. A rare green flash, at least for 2004, of a green flash can be seen on the top picture.











2 Akhet sequences show an amazing difference, partially explainable by the upper air profiles. But first consider Montreal summer pictures where the sun usually set when in this case the lower limb touches ground. March 24 (top) had hardly any inversion at all, March 24's Akhet shows hardly any distortions, nor lateral line breaks, it is a 'clean', almost inversion free sequence. March 25 had a more prominent inversion, +0.02 C/m, and its sequence shows it. Especially by the sun disk shape , now jagged and more colourful. The distinction with inversions is made very clear here, they muddle the picture, increase the sun vertical diameter, but at least in this case didn't extend skimming. March 24 is within the top 5 greatest boosts ever in resolute: -3.4 (11/2002), -2.33 (03/2001) , -2.29 (03/2002), and finally this one -2.09. 2003 had no great er boosts below -1.9. The black mark on the smooth upper sun disk is a sun spot.







A most stunning sunset, reminiscent to sm17 2002, and also Wegener blank strip sequences. Except , there was no visible blank strip, nor Island or topographic mirages. It seems the entire horizon rose by about 0.2 degrees, enabling a study of line formation without land obstruction. Another striking feature is the lack of red and green flashes, particularly red flashes. No image could be seen below the .3 degrees above land. This is a rare but beautiful event, where the sun literally sets in mid air. The bottom picture shows the sun line, usually called 'fire on the ice', except the ice is well below. The line ondulated clearly, at a certain frequency, or wavelength, similar to pond waves.



Before skimming on a hill, the sun touched the horizon with a triple red flash. It appeared that some flashes skimmed the hill slope, and some didn’t. Skimming followed the profile of land either horizontal or oblique.


The Akhet sun appears to have touched the horizon quite higher than a day ago, A sure sign of warming. End of sequence green, red yellow and blue flashes, quite stimulating and common at higher elevations. Poscript: a few days later much warmer weather has arrived....






The extraordinary features in this sunset overshadow the apparent fact that it is happening later than the same date last year. Actually this sunset landed in the same direction of a high pressure center, which in fact exacerbates or increases sunset tardiness. A green flash was observed slightly above 4 degrees as well. The sun lower limb touched down the horizon at a remarkably low elevation for this time of the year. At left the true sun image is on top with red flashes immediately below, removing the filter in the second frame overexposed the not as bright red flashes, but this shows colour properties of red flashes, which are not truly red.



The entire near horizon sun disk was parallel with the slanted landscape at sunset. There was hardly an inversion measured. The slope is approximately 0.15 degrees above the true horizon. This means enormous warming of the atmosphere. Note the elegant red flash below the right side of the sun disk in the second frame.



In the past I use to rotate the picture in order to have a good horizontal horizon. That was a mistake, since the sun disc literally rotates itself to conform with the slanted horizon. First to the left is an ellipsoid sun over a huge red flash. Sunset ends with the usual green flash following the slanted sun line.



The ellipsoid sun without the red flash, is more or less smooth despite strato cumulus clouds.



The aureole on the last picture to the right, is extremely fascinating, it is round despite the sun line at sunset.

Summer 2004,

Montreal data can be summed up in one word: Clouds

- A great upper cloud red flash sequence
- Aureoles seen at times then sometimes not
- Green flashes no so uncommon, but quite small
- High voltage power lines and artificial creation of green flashes?
- Greater skimming from cooler surface but consistently warmer upper air


Must be in Montreal to see a sunset again, and it was amazing to realize great differences again between temperate and polar sunsets. In the case above there are slight similarities such as the mini red flash at Akhet and also the red countours around the half down sun disk, the red is due to moisture in the Arctic, mainly ice cristals, in Montreal it is likely something else.


I've missed taking a clear shot at Akhet but did achieve to clock it. Quite a contrast, between Akhets at -0.9 degrees in polar region and a mere -0.2 or -0.3 in Montreal. The basic argument, still on going amongst a small group of enlightened observers and scientists is whether inversions play a role in the sun shape directly above the horizon. The argument is no longer that inversions cause everything, but rather a question about cold air contributions. The case seems closed, as in warmer air the half sun disk is so much rounder in Montreal's warmer air. The argument that inversions predominate fails to explain why no polar like distorted suns are seen in the South.


A personal first observation of a truly green flash in Montreal seen at extreme right. Now a distinction can be made between the green flash and the sun line by the width of the green flash. Behing absolutely not as wide as the sun line by a factor of 4 compared to March 19 Resolute Bay shot. There are then two distinctions to be made, green flashes immediately at the horizon and the sun line which comprises on most occasions nearly the entire width of the sun.


Montreal's red flash is much unlike Resolute. It appeared in front of the sun disk while in Resolute sometimes much below. Green flash in the middle picture was not observed, due to clouds, but it seems likely that there was one. Compared to same date last,year the sunset was quite lower, but the upper air much warmer according to differential refraction readings.


2003 June 17 sunset –0.805

Summer of 2004 in Montreal was mostly cloudy compared to last year, conversely it was cooler for most days in June and July. Later in time sunsets were achieved , however differential refraction shots have persistently shown a mostly warmer upper atmosphere than last year. There is no contradiction, warm air can’t be produced during the summer when the sun is absent. In the case above, the difference in setting was greater by 0.066 degrees last year.



2003 June 25 sunset 305.52/-0.81

Again more skimming than last year shows how sensitive sunsets are to temperature differences, but here clouds made this sunset happen too early, despite these clouds the sunset was still lower than last year.



2003 July 18, 301.95/-0.84 temperature 23 C

Haze again made Akhet camera timing difficult, however, since it was warmer this day in 2004, the sunset was earlier and higher. Again a show of great importance, given no inversions, sunsets are strictly proportional to the density gradient.


2003 August 1, 297.39/-0.85 temperature 25 C

The difference between 2004 and 03 sunset numbers is explained by the sun’s position, which set behind the higher part of the hill in 03.



The single greatest red flash sequence ever captured by me, in a short time span, but absolutely stunning. It appeared right above low lying cumulus clouds on the horizon. There was obviously an inversion above those clouds, which caused an immense red flash at first. But still very impressive geometric features similar to Arctic inversion shots.





Micro green flashes and red flashes are seen at Akhet. A certain again very small green flash was seen at semi-disk shot, at the end a normal sunset happenned. The greatest discovery so far is dispersion countours colours are dramatically different between Arctic and temperate zone sun disks. Of which a green upper limb can be seen with a sun disk 20 degrees above the horizon in the Arctic, not so in Montreal, while using the same equipment, it appears that noticeable colour countours start around 7 degrees in Montreal. Observed many times, this would mean that refraction/dispersion is much stronger in the Arctic, and this is a way in proving so.


2003 July 14 Sunset 302.96/-0.84 temperature 22 C

Intense haze made it difficult to find the sun at Akhet,, but pinpointing sunset time was made somewhat easier. Results above show that there is a strong link between sunset times and temperature.


A great coincidence or electric interaction? The green flash seen at upper right and lower left of sunset shot, coincides exactly with very high voltage power lines on the distant mountains. Very basic refraction happens much like the phenomena of electric induction, could it be that those power lines caused greater refraction? It is an interesting question going at the quantum level of this science.


Impressive aureole, or panache right after sunset.


2003 sunset 291.60/–0.95 29 C

Again the sensitivity of sunset times are strongly related to surface temperatures.


Interesting outlining of the sun in red , the end shot was a green flash, which appears red because of camera intensity setting adjusted to very dark.


Best green flash ever filmed in Montreal, with proper camera setting as well. The green is almost equal to visual observation, visually it was an oblong brilliant light green, seen by multiple witnesses. Other thing to observe is the apparent red panache, identical in many ways to Arctic ones, like a jet of red light in a oblong upside down pyramid.


Again another green flash, the optical play with tree tops make it quite spectacular. The trees themselves interfere with light, even on top of them, giving vertical inverse gaps on the green flash line, giving an idea as to how the light gets to the camera. I missed the Akhet on this one, but the semi-sphere sunset has a very strange aureole, reminiscent of ice crystals effects.


Last sunset in Montreal, a very interesting one, with continuous green flash as seen from on top of upper limb, found so on multiple frames. The Akhet is found on the lowest Laurentian slope North West of Montreal, so sunset and Akhet elevation numbers are somewhat not measured on an even topographical horizon for the entire Montreal sunset series. The pictures are comparable on an anniversary basis, from year to year, on the same day, or in particular from near exact astronomical settings, especially with azimuth, which is the smaller number above the lower bigger right number.


Back in Resolute

After horrendous time of cloud coverage throughout September and October, got a small glimpse of our very clean and bright fall atmosphere. Remarkable first time observation of rectangular sun , in purest form, truly rectangular, seen that way with polaroid sun glasses which removed a bright aureole, making it look astonishingly round. I spent too much time observing, not enough taking pictures. The sunset was remarkably not boosted. Despite an inversion off surface, and -20 C weather.


Missed the exact sunset time on this one. Again unusual shots by very little boosting, this is definitely again a sign of a warmer atmosphere. The spot where the sun set, usually shows very strong refraction.