Alaskan Town Will Have to Say Goodbye to the Sun for 65 Days
"Polar night" is about to be upon the Alaskan town of Utqiaġvik (formerly known as Barrow), which means that the sun will set on Sunday and won't rise for 65 days.
Alaskans will only have a short period of time to catch a glimpse of the sun on Sunday. The sun will rise at 12:40pm AKST (four hours behind EST) and set only a little more than an hour later at 1:44pm. Despite The Weather Channel's current forecast that predicts mostly cloudy weather, it might be the last chance for affected Alaskans to throw on some sunnies and bask in the projected -10 degree weather.
The polar night phenomenon has to do with the tilt of the earth. The Arctic Circle, which encompasses Utqiaġvik, will be tilted away from the sun for the duration of the 65 days, causing the sun not to rise above the horizon.
Thankfully, the town won't be in pitch black darkness throughout the period. Civil twilight, which is when the sun is 6 degrees below the horizon, allows for enough light to see outside. However, the civil twilight period only lasts about six hours on a good day. In the dead of the polar night, you may only be able to see for as little as three hours.
No worries for the citizens of Utqiaġvik, though. Beginning in May, the exact opposite will occur as locations north of the Arctic Circle will see more than two months of nonstop sunshine, so their Vitamin D levels will hike right back up to where they should be.
H/T: The Weather Channel