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Dance between darkness and light: Utqiagvik

Dance between darkness and light: Utqiagvik

Winter evening walks are some little thing which feels so poetic and romantic. And if you are some person with this creative perspective of life, you already know so many reasons to love winter’s nights. Sometimes we people with poetic hearts feel like packing our backs and just go someplace with a snow hood. And what’s better than Alaska! We all have our dream places we want to go or live for a while. And personally, mine is Alaska. I have never been there but I can vibe with it already.

And there’s a place in Alaska, Utqiagvik, formerly known as Barrow. And there’s something so special about this place. But if you are afraid of the dark, you might not like it. Just like an ice desert, it has some extreme negative temperature, ho ho ho could be a Santa place too. And the special fact is that the sun dawn there during the end of November and the next time it rises, more than two months will have elapsed, the calendar will have flipped to 2021. How cool is that?

Not a complete darkness but a little twilight kinda day. This is known as “polar night”, a phenomenon at high latitudes that visits the Arctic and Antarctic circles each winter. Because of Earth’s tilt on its axis, regions in the Arctic Circle can remain facing away from the sun for days, weeks or even months at a time between the fall and spring equinoxes. On the winter solstice, which falls at 5:02 a.m. Eastern time Dec. 21, the sun will still be 4.7 degrees below the horizon at noon. It will re-emerge from its long slumber Jan. 23.

Practically two months of darkness may seem brutal and harsh especially for this low temperature. But this is just a natural phenomenon, and this town is the best example of the phrase “dark nights, bright days”. Because the same effect that leads to polar night graces the Arctic Circle with extensive daylight in the summertime. Utqiagvik will see endless daylight from May 11 through Aug. 18.

At the North and South poles, there is only one sunrise and one sunset per year. The sun rises on the spring equinox and sets on the fall equinox. Surprisingly, all locations on Earth see the same duration of sunlight every year, give or take a bit because of mountains, valleys and other topographical features. Utqiagvik sees about the same number of hours of sunlight as Miami, Sydney and Moscow; it all balances out.

It is a dance between darkness and light. In the end, it’s all for balancing and we gotta love this natural yet special phenomenon because it’s beautiful. And some of the souls out there wish to experience this. These magical phenomenons are the best way to experience something unique and beautiful. And it could bless our poetic heart.

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About The Author

Aanchal Sharma

PG student at IIRS,ISRO Dehradun | Space Enthusiast | Engineer | Writer | Sci-fi fan

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