The term “Polar Night” refers to a natural phenomenon that occurs annually during winter in regions situated within the Arctic Circle. One notable location experiencing this phenomenon is Barrow, Alaska. In Barrow, the Polar Night begins when the sun sets on November 18 and continues until it rises again on January 23 of the following year, resulting in an uninterrupted period of darkness lasting for 67 days.
The darkness associated with the Polar Night is a consequence of the Earth’s axial tilt, causing the sun to be positioned below the horizon, rendering its disc invisible. This unique astronomical event is a product of the Earth’s axial tilt and its orbit around the sun.
Alaska, with its distinctive geographical location, is known for such extreme variations in daylight. Alongside the Polar Night, residents of Barrow also experience an opposite phenomenon during the summer solstice, where the sun remains visible for an extended period, creating a two-month-long day.
The irregular day and night cycles are not exclusive to Barrow but are also observed in other locations like Kaktovik, Point Hope near the Chukchi Sea, and Anaktuvuk Pass. These variations in daylight and darkness are due to the geographical positioning of these areas in relation to the Earth’s axial tilt, providing unique and sometimes challenging natural experiences for the residents.