An Alaska Town Won’t See Sun for More Than 2 Months

Wire Service
By Wire Service
November 20, 2020US News
An Alaska Town Won’t See Sun for More Than 2 Months
The town of Utqiagvik, Alaska, entered a two month period of darkness on Thursday, known as polar night. (Credit: University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute)

An Alaskan town has said goodbye to daylight for the next two months.

The sun rose and set in Utqiagvik, Alaska, formerly known as Barrow, for the last time on Thursday for a period of over 60 days.

The small town located north of the Arctic Circle has entered its annual phase of darkness, known as polar night.

“Polar night is a normal phenomenon that happens every winter for Barrow (Utqiagvik), and any other towns inside the Arctic circle,” said CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar.

The occurrence takes place each winter because of the tilt of the Earth’s axis.

“This tilt makes it so that none of the Sun’s disc are [sic] visible above the horizon,” according to Chinchar.

But that doesn’t mean the town will be completely dark. Most daytime hours will go through periods known as civil twilight, said Chinchar.

“Think of what the sky looks like just before sunrise, or just after sunset,” said Chinchar. “That is what they see for several hours a day, from now until January 22, when the sun will ‘officially rise’ again.”

The town is not the only one in Alaska to experience this phenomenon, but it is the first on the polar night location list because of how far north it is.

If the life of a night owl is unappealing for the people of Utqiagvik, they can always look toward the summer when the opposite occurrence, known as a midnight sun or polar day, causes 24 hours of daylight.

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