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Celestial America's Northernmost Town Descends into 65 Days of Darkness After Sunday's Sunset
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Sandhills North Carolina

    America's Northernmost Town Descends into 65 Days of Darkness After Sunday's Sunset

    America's Northernmost Town Descends into 65 Days of Darkness After Sunday's Sunset
    By Brian Donegan2 days ago
    America’s Northernmost Town Sees Last Sunrise Until January

    Utqiaġvik (formerly known as Barrow), Alaska, will see its last sunset for 65 days Sunday afternoon.
    The opposite will occur this summer, when the sun won't set for more than two months from mid-May to early August.

    Sunday's sunrise will occur at 12:40*p.m. AKST, with sunset happening just over an hour later at 1:44 p.m. AKST. The sun won't make an appearance again until the next sunrise Jan. 23 at 1:04 p.m. AKST. Alaska Standard Time is four hours behind Eastern Standard Time.

    Civil twilight, defined as the point when the sun is 6 degrees below the horizon, allows sufficient light to see objects outside. This civil twilight period is about 6 hours long near the beginning and end*of polar night*but shrinks to about 3*hours in the heart of the polar night just before Christmas.

    Residents of America's northernmost town, Utqiaġvik, Alaska – formerly known as Barrow – will watch the sun dip below the horizon for the final time in 2018 Sunday afternoon, marking the beginning of "polar night," 65 consecutive days of near-darkness in this city north of the Arctic Circle

    This Utqiaġvik, Alaska, webcam image is from Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, at 9:54 a.m. AKST.
    (University of Alaska-Fairbanks)

    It's a common misconception that Utqiaġvik and areas north of the Arctic Circle are completely dark during this 65-day polar night.

    During the Northern Hemisphere's fall and winter, the sun's most direct rays shine over areas between the equator and the Tropic of Capricorn, about 23.5 degrees south latitude.

    From mid-November through late January, the sun doesn't rise north of the Arctic Circle due to the tilt of the Earth away from the sun's most direct radiation.

    Because the Northern Hemisphere tilts away from the sun in the fall and winter, areas north of the Arctic Circle – within 23.5 degrees of the North Pole – experience more than two months when the sun never ascends above the horizon.

    The opposite occurs from mid-May through early August, when the sun doesn't set for more than two months north of the Arctic Circle. Next year, this will occur from the last sunrise May 12 at 2:34 a.m. AKDT until the first sunset Aug. 2 at 2:08 a.m. AKDT in Utqiaġvik.

    Fairbanks, Alaska, just south of the Arctic Circle, still sees a sunrise and sunset year-round. By the winter solstice around Dec. 21, sunset is as early as 2:41 p.m. AKST, not even 4 hours after sunrise at 10:58 a.m. AKST.

    From May 16 to July 27, Fairbanks sees civil twilight 24 hours a day.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2001
    They made a movie called 30 Days of Night about this phenomenon in Barrow, Alaska. Be warned it is a vampire horror flick. It's still a decent movie IMHO, just not for kids.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    West Virginia
    In mid July it's the opposite and you get what Alaskans call the midnight sun and it's pretty much day light 24/7. Most of the state experiences this not just Barrow


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