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Northernmost point of the U.S. sees first official sunrise in over two months

The sun set on November 18 in Utqiagvik, Alaska and hasn’t ‘officially’ risen since

Barrow, AK sees last sunrise for two months.
Barrow, AK sees last sunrise for two months. (Courtesy: University of Alaska - Fairbanks)

UTQIAGVIK, Ak. – The earth rotates around the sun at a 23.5° angle. As we get closer to the first day of winter each year, the sun’s direct rays inch closer to the Tropic of Capricorn (in the southern hemisphere). This means that the Arctic Circle has been tilted away from the sun over the past two months.

Now that the sun’s rays are getting closer to the Equator, the Arctic Circle isn’t tilted as far from the sun. This allows them to see their first official sunrise since November 18, 2019.

Sunlight increasing in the northern hemisphere
Sunlight increasing in the northern hemisphere

This benefits us as well. We currently sit with a little over ten hours of daylight.

Daylight hours - 1/23/2020 to 4/1/2020
Daylight hours - 1/23/2020 to 4/1/2020

In the coming weeks and months, this will increase (as it does every year). By the time we get to the vernal equinox (first day of spring), we’ll have a little more than twelve hours of daylight.


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