What is the Midnight Sun?

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The Midnight Sun is a phenomenon the Earth has given the people in the far north as compensation for all those cold temperatures it keeps chucking at them.

The Midnight Sun is a phenomenon the Earth has given the people in the far north as compensation for all those cold temperatures it keeps chucking at them – specifically people in countries that have parts peeking above the Arctic Circle, such as Canada, Finland, Norway, Russia and Sweden. It can also be experienced in the south within the Antarctic Circle, but that’s just for the penguins and a handful of scientists. (Our featured image is by belboo.)

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The Midnight Sun
Photo: Bernt Sønvisen

In these seemingly magical places, the sun won’t set properly during summer months but instead create an eerie shimmering glow as it softly bobs beneath the edge of the horizon for a handful of hours before popping back up again.

It happens because the Earth is tilted at about 23 degrees on its axis and the north in summer gets the least variation in exposure to our solar master. The phenomenon leads to some mesmerising sights, the likes of which make the rest of the world jealous.

Thankfully, some generous filmmakers have created time-lapse videos for all those people closer to the equator that show off this stunning and beautiful wonder of nature.

Midnight Sun | Iceland from SCIENTIFANTASTIC on Vimeo.

But then – I hear you cry – what happens during the winter months? Well, the very opposite occurs: polar night. Darkness covers most of the day, except for a few hours of haunting twilight in the afternoon.

Again, a stunning reminder of the wondrous world we live in and our place in the solar system.

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Polar Night
Photo: belboo
What is the Midnight Sun? was last modified: June 26th, 2019 by Adam Zulawski