Monday, June 13, 2011

Eternal Sunshine of the Midnight Sun

It has been a while since I have blogged about my love affair with the midnight sun. 

When I was young, I dreamed dreams where it was light past 11pm.  I'd be looking out my window and everything was still daylight, and it seemed vaguely right.  I would also have dreams in which I looked at the  night sky and the stars weren't in the right place, and it frightened me.

At the time, I was growing up in New York City, not exactly the land of eternal sunshine.

I don't know how old I was, or if I knew about how the poles would have long days, and then long nights.  But those dreams were very vivid, especially the dreams of looking out my window close to midnight and it was still light.  For many years I've wanted to see the midnight sun in person.  Ironically, the one time I visited Alaska, it was in September. (and it was a part of Alaska where there was no midnight sun, at that.)

For the past four or so years, I have used a website called Eternal Sunset to track the sunrises and sunsets at several points of the earth:  Fairbanks, AK, Bernardo O'Higgins base in Antarctica, and Longyearbyen, Norway.   I don't do it as much now, but I've been viewing Fairbanks, as they are nearing their peak (which should be 21 hours and 46 minutes) of sunlight.

To go to the Fairbanks webcam at 2:30 am (Alaskan time) and see it light, still gives me chills.

One day I would like to go to Fairbanks and celebrate the solstice there.  I realize the sun does set (in the North!) in Fairbanks but their long dusks are enough for them to have 24 hour light.  And one day maybe I really, really will make it.

1 comment:

  1. My parents have traveled extensively in Alaska, the Northwest Territories, & Inuvit over the past several summers.

    They had to get special blackout covers for the camper windows so they could get any sleep!

    If you go, watch for the no-see-ums (clouds of teeny gnats that go for your eyes, nose, mouth, and have been known to cause grown caribou to run off cliffs trying to escape them) and the huge mosquitoes - melting permafrost makes long-standing marshland during the summers.

    **Katy M
    Recommending YA books beyond the bestsellers at http://BooksYALove.blogspot.com
    Follow me on Twitter @BooksYALove

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