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Midnight sun and polar night

The midnight sun is a phenomenon that occurs all or part of the summer between the spring equinox and autumn equinox between the polar circles and the poles. The midnight sun means that the sun at its lowest position during a single day does not go below the horizon and thus, if cloud cover is not too extensive, is visible 24 hours of the day.

The proportion of summer it is midnight sun increases with the distance from the polar circle in the direction of the pole. It is greatest at the pole where it is possible to see the sun continuously for six months.

The areas that have the midnight sun in the summer, have the polar nights in a similar long period of time in the winter. Because of the twilight effect this does not necessarily mean that it is dark 24 hours a day, just as it is not all dark before sunrise.

Dates of polar night and midnight sun (dates are approximate):

  • North Cape; polar night November 20 - January 22, midnight sun May 14 - July 29.
  • Tromsø; polar night November 27 - January 15, midnight sun May 20 - July 22.
  • Svolvær; polar night December 7 - January 5, midnight sun May 28 - July 14.

Read more about The Midnight Sun = light all night!

Read more about The Polar Night = a time of colour!

Lofoten December 6th. Photo by Solveig Gjendem.