Written in SCIENCE the 20/11/2021 · 12:36 hs
Can you ever imagine living in a place where nights last more than 24 hours and it is not possible to see the sun for several days? Well, this is the situation that every year the City of Utqiagvik, much better known as Barrow, an American town located in the state of Alaska, at the northern tip of the Continent.
Surely and more if you are a fan of horror films or vampires in particular, the situation of several days at night in total darkness sounds familiar to you, since it is part of the plot of the film and the comics “30 Days of Night”However, if you just think this is fiction, you are wrong. The natural phenomenon actually exists and this is known as Polar Night.
Polar Night, a Natural phenomenon
According to the National Geographic site, the Polar Night is a natural phenomenon caused by Earth’s axis tilt, in which the The absence of sunlight lasts for more than 24 hours in the Arctic and Antarctic Circle. During the polar night, the Sun does not reach a sufficient height to appear above the horizon in the regions closest to the poles, causing weeks and even months of darkness.
During the polar night, the cold intensifies and the average temperature reaches about -20º C in January; however, the residents of Barrow continue with their daily routine, although they accumulate more time indoors (or on visits that last for days) due to the inclement winter.
National Geographic en español
Barrow the best known city but not the only one with Polar Night
On the other hand, you should know that although in a media way, the city of Barrow is the best known in terms of this phenomenon, this is possibly because it is where this phenomenon of absence of light lasts more days, since in Barrow the Polar Night has an average duration of 66 days.
Some other cities with Polar Night are:
- Murmansk, a town in Russia with almost 300 thousand inhabitants, where the polar night runs from December 2 to January 11, approximately 40 days without sunlight.
- Tromsø, a Norwegian city popularly known as the ‘cultural capital’ of the Arctic. This town says goodbye to sunlight on November 27 and receives rays from the Sun again until January 15 of the following year. (an average of 49 days without sunlight).
Where is Barrow located?
The City of Barrow It is located at coordinates 71 ° 18’1? N 156 ° 44’9? O, has a total area of 55 km² and most of its territory is surrounded by the icy waters of the Arctic Ocean.