# A phenomenal riddle

I’m a natural wonder, hitched to a star.
You could say I’m like an electric car.
I’m hard to see, and some think I’m rare.
I’m so fast, you may wonder if I’m there.
You can try to find me where the outlook is flat,
At the end of the day, your chances are fat.

What am I?

Update / Hint:

I am a two-word phrase. Line 2 refers to one word, and line 4 refers to the other word.

• rot13(Ner lbh: Zrephel?) – Avi Oct 26 '19 at 7:37
• @Avi No, I am not rot13(Zrephel) – FlanMan Oct 26 '19 at 7:43

## 6 Answers

Are you a:

Green Flash

I’m a natural wonder, hitched to a star.

A green flash occurs at the moment of sunset or sunrise. The sun is a star.

You could say I’m like an electric car.

Electric cars are in a sense "green"

I’m hard to see, and some think I’m rare.

Relies on the right conditions, not easy to observe

I’m so fast, you may wonder if I’m there.

Gone in flash you might say...

You can try to find me where the outlook is flat,

Easiest to observe where you have a clear view of the horizon to see the sun go down

At the end of the day, your chances are fat.

Referring to sunset, the most likely time to observe a green flash

Riddle Title: A Phenomenal Riddle

Green flash is an "Optical Phenomenon" (Wikipedia)

Are you?

a coma (a.k.a. a comet trail)

A phenomenal riddle (the title)

The passing of a comet is an astronomical phenomenon

I'm a natural wonder, hitched to a star

The trail of a comet appears when it enters a stellar system: the stellar radiations 'attack' its outer lair (which is why the trail always faces away from the star)

You could say I’m like an electric car.

Not sure about this one, but at a stretch: they are silent when they move (no sound in space), just like electric cars

I’m hard to see, and some think I’m rare.

In order to spot a comet, you have to be at the right place and the right time on earth hence they are difficult to see. There are many more comets in the solar system than we can see (at least 6000), which leads us (people without NASA's resources) to think that they are rarer than they actually are.

I’m so fast, you may wonder if I’m there.

They fly fast through the sky, blink too long and you'll miss them$$\dots$$

You can try to find me where the outlook is flat,

It's easier to spot away from all human light pollution (e.g. over the horizon of the sea 'where the outlook is flat')

At the end of the day, your chances are fat.

This is stretching again, but at the end of the day you are more likely to spot the Perseids, which is a meteor shower caused by debris from the Swift-Tuttle comet.

• Given the hint this doesn't fit, but here's a fun alternative explanation of the electric car line: rot13('V'z yvxr na ryrpgevp pne': gurer vf n pregnva Grfyn sylvat guebhtu fcnpr yvxr n pbzrg) :) – user62757 Oct 29 '19 at 0:35

You are an Aurora

I'm a natural wonder, hitched to a star

The auroras are due to interaction between the solar wind and the Earth's magnetic field.

You could say I’m like an electric car.

The (New) Aurora self-driving electric car (not the Old[smobile] Aurora).

I’m hard to see, and some think I’m rare.

Only about 5% of the Earth's population lives at latitudes suitable for observing auroras.

I’m so fast, you may wonder if I’m there.

Since the light depends on density of the solar wind, you see fast changing waves of atmospheric collisions rather than moving particles that emit continuous light.

You can try to find me where the outlook is flat,

The high latitudes where auroras occur are low relief, but I think this clue refers to the NOAA space-weather forecast outlook -- can someone help me out here?

At the end of the day, your chances are fat.

Auroras peak at local midnight.

Along the same lines as aml's answer, I think the answer is

Solar flare

I’m a natural wonder, hitched to a star.

A solar flare is a sudden flash of increased brightness on the Sun.

You could say I’m like an electric car.

A solar vehicle is an electric vehicle powered completely or significantly by direct solar energy.

I’m hard to see, and some think I’m rare.

Even the most powerful flares are barely detectable in the total solar irradiance.

I’m so fast, you may wonder if I’m there.

Solar flares travel at the speed of light.

You can try to find me where the outlook is flat,

If the ejection is in the direction of the Earth (the "outlook is flat"), particles associated with this disturbance can penetrate into the upper atmosphere (the ionosphere) and cause bright auroras

At the end of the day, your chances are fat.

Solar flares cannot usually be observed by the naked eye, but require special scientific instruments.

Based on the hint, I will guess:

Lightning bolt

I’m a natural wonder, hitched to a star.

According to this article from Scientific American, the electric fields in the clouds are not strong enough to cause lightning without a catalyst, which are cosmic rays originating from stars.

You could say I’m like an electric car.

The Chevrolet Bolt. The hint says that this is one of the two words.

I’m hard to see, and some think I’m rare.

Lightning is rare to begin with and disappears quickly, so it's hard to see.

I’m so fast, you may wonder if I’m there.

It's "lightning" fast. The hint says that this line refers to one of the the two words.

You can try to find me where the outlook is flat,
At the end of the day, your chances are fat.

According to the internet, some of the best places to see lightning are flat places such as Maracaibo Lake in Venezuela and various lake regions in Africa. But it's still a "fat chance" that you will see lightning even in these places.

aurora borealis

because:

the origin is the sun (the star) and the "wind" (etymology: Boreas), the wind is fast, the poles (in this particular case the North Pole) are flattened (the Earth is a spheroid), and the chance to see is better at night.

Actually not only line 2 refers to one word but line 1+2 refer to the same word.