An Alaska town will live in complete darkness for the next two months and will only see sunlight again until 2024.
Utqiaġvik is a small town in the far northern part of the United States and is known for the way they experience the winter season.
Residents are already used to spending long weeks without daylight, and in the last days of November they know they have to enjoy the last hours of sunshine.
In this way, Utqiaġvik or Barrow will receive the sun’s rays again by January 23, 2024.
This phenomenon is known as “polar night” and affects some populations living near the Arctic Circle and Antarctica.
Why does this phenomenon occur?
All of this arises from the process of Earth’s tilt and rotation, which causes our planet’s position in front of the Sun to change throughout the seasons.
December 21st also marks the start of the so-called winter solstice for countries in the northern hemisphere and the summer solstice for areas in the south.
The phenomenon occurs because the Earth’s rotation axis is tilted about 23.4 degrees relative to the Sun, marking the change of seasons.
Due to this astronomical alignment, this day is considered the shortest day of the year for northern countries as the sun will appear much further south than normal.
This positioning of the Earth causes the duration of sunlight to decrease dramatically, lasting fewer hours the closer it is to the North Pole.
“At the solstice, the sun’s path appears further north or south, depending on which half of the planet you are on. “Seasons change on Earth because the planet tilts slightly on its axis as it travels around the sun,” NASA said.
In this way, during this period the sun does not reach the height sufficient to go above the horizon, causing the cities and villages in these polar regions to live in darkness; something known as the polar night.
For this reason, some countries can only enjoy a few hours of sunlight, while in those areas towards the South Pole, a reverse phenomenon occurs with more hours of sunshine.
The truth is that just as in some areas there is no sunlight in winter, in Alaska you can enjoy up to 80 days in a row in summer without the sun setting on the horizon.
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