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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 24.djvu/617

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GREEN SUNS AND RED SUNSETS.

spreading a lurid glare over all the heavens, and producing a most weird effect." The Attorney-General of West Australia wrote to Dr. J. W. Judd, October 27th, describing the same glow; and a letter from Umballah, India, October 30th, says: "There has been for some time a remarkable appearance in the sky every night. The sun goes down as usual and it gets nearly dark, and then a bright red and yellow and green and purple blaze comes in the sky and makes it lighter again. It is most uncanny, and makes one feel as if something out of the common was going to happen." The writer of this article has noticed from his own windows the interval of darkness between the setting of the sun and the appearance of the glow remarked in the letter.

The earliest observations of the glow in Europe appear to have been made about the 9th of November, after which time references to it and descriptions of it abound in the scientific and other journals. These descriptions agree with each other as to all essential features, and might be as well applied to the phenomenon as seen anywhere in the United States. The sky is generally spoken of as cloudless where the glow has appeared, although a few observers speak of light cirrus clouds floating in the air or passing over the sun or near it; and one observer at Ootacamund, India, mentions a green cloud that passed over the sun's disk, followed by a red one.

The red light is regarded by those who have paid most attention to the subject as associated with the blue or green sun which was observed in many parts of the East Indies early in September. It was noticed at Manila, in the Philippine Islands, on the 9th, when, during a "light dry mist," "the sun appeared colored green and diffusing over all the bodies it illuminated a strange and curious greenish hue, to the great terror of the islanders"; at Colombo, Ceylon, on the same day, when the sun, about forty minutes before setting, emerged from behind a cloud of a bright-green color. The whole disk was distinctly seen, and the light was so subdued that one could look steadily at it. The moon was also, to some extent, affected in the same way. A correspondent of the "Ceylon Observer," writing on September 12th from Puleadierakam, states that no light came from the sun, although it was visible, until nearly seven o'clock in the morning, and adds: "For the last four days, the sun rises in splendid green when visible—that is, about 10° from the horizon. As he advances he assumes a beautiful blue, resembling burning sulphur. When about 45° high, it is not possible to look at the sun with the naked eye; but, even when at the very zenith, the light is blue, varying from a pale blue early to a bright blue later on, almost similar to moonlight even at midday. Then, as he declines, the sun assumes the same changes, but vice versa. The heat is greatly modified, and there is nothing like the usual hot days of September. The moon, now visible in the afternoon, looks also tinged with blue after sunset, and as she declines, assumes a most fiery color at 30° from the zenith."