With the changing of the seasons, most people around the United States either dread the night coming in earlier or look forward to it. Then, there are those who love having the daylight longer in the evening while others long for the moon. In the city of Utqiagvik, Alaska, all of the residents are looking forward to Wednesday, January 23, as it will be the first time they will see the sun in more than two months.
The city in Alaska is formerly known as Barrow and it has a population of just around 4,300 people who are longing for daylight. It is the northernmost town in the state and it sits at a latitude of 71.2 degrees north which is deep into the Arctic Circle and forces it into darkness for long periods of time.
The very last time that the sun was seen in Utqiagvik was back on November 18, 2018, and this week will be the first time in 66 days that they get even a glimpse of it. Unfortunately for those who are longing for the bright disc in the sky, they’re not going to get a whole lot of it just yet.
As reported by MSN, the residents of Utqiagvik are only going to have a little over an hour of daylight on Wednesday, and they may not even see it.
For the first time in 66 days, the sun will rise in the northernmost U.S. city - . Interestingly, Utqiagvik Alaska gets less snow than Boston, as it’s so cold that hardly any water makes it into the air! https://t.co/VKHQ1uDDWW— Alyson Ferro (@AlyKat007) January 22, 2019
At 1:04 p.m. local time on Wednesday in Utqiagvik, the sun will begin to appear in the south, but it will start going back down behind the horizon at 2:14 p.m. There will be no point in that hour and 10 minutes where the sun will actually be more than halfway over the horizon.
While some sunlight could possibly make it to Utqiagvik, the residents likely won’t see the sun itself and won’t get much of it. Those with a clear view will be able to see more of the light if there are no obstructions such as tall trees, buildings, and the like.
All of this happens due to the tilt of the Earth and that is why this small town in Alaska sees no sunlight for two full months. Flipping the script a bit, the Earth’s tilt is also the reason they get a full two-plus months of daylight during the summer.
The Christmas season is over and many are preparing for the cold winter months that still remain before spring actually arrives. A lot of snow will still come the way of many in the United States, but for the people of Utqiagvik, the day they have waited for has finally arrived. On Wednesday, January 23, 2019, their 65 days of total darkness will be over by receiving even the smallest amount of sunlight.