10 NOVEMBER 1950, Page 20

The Green Ray

SIR,—Mr. George G. Hopkinson's letter on "Blue Moons and Green Light," with its quotations from Sir William Bragg, must have been welcomed by many beside myself. Mr. Hopkinson mentions the green flash as being seen when the sun sets into a clear sea, but, as Lord Dunsany mentions, it may be seen also over the desert, and I have reason to believe elsewhere. I have never seen it at sea, but have done so at dawn, once from the summit of Ben Cleuch in the Ochils, the sun's rising rim appearing for an instant like incandescent emerald; I do not think that hill—not much over 2,000 feet—commands a sea horizon in the right directiod. Perhaps mist may produce the right conditions ?

Amongst Jules Verne's less-known works is a story called The Green Ray ; in it he describes the adventures of a group of people who go to the west coast of Scotland expressly to witness the phenomenon on the sea-horizon. Over and over again their attention. is distracted at the crucial moment, but my memory of the- book, read many years ago, tells me that they are eventually rewarded for their effort. That emerald flash is certainly a spectacle worth waiting for, if only because it inspired Jules Verne and interests interesting people.—Yours faithfully,

W. KERSLEy 1401.10Es.

The Glasgow Literary Club, Bath Street, Glasgow.