The U.S. city Utqiagvik, which was formerly named Barrow, began its 65 days of darkness on November 19th, and it’s going to last until January 23, 2019. On the last sunny day of the year, the city only managed to see a total of 64 minutes of sunlight during the day.
Utqiagvik is a city that has a population of around 4,000, and it’s located 320 miles above the Arctic Circle. And everyone that’s above the Arctic Circle experiences some length of the polar night.
Some of the people in the city gathered so that they could celebrate their final sunset of the year, by collectively watching 30 Days of Night, which is a 2007 movie about the same town being overrun by vampires, during a polar night like the one that just started there. Unfortunately for the residents, the cloudy weather conditions prevented them from actually seeing the sunset when the sun was going down for the last time in 2018, but that didn’t actually put anyone in a bad mood.
The residents were celebrating outside, dressed up for the cold weather in the warmest coats they have, trying to take pictures of the last bit of sunlight, eating some great food and joking about the movie they all watched.
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Celebrating the beginning of Polar Night at 1:44pm (sunset) with good friends, great food, and lots of laughs at a Hollywood film where, on Polar Night, vampires take over our little town. 😬 We haven't seen the sun in 4 days, and another cloudy day today kept us from waving goodbye, but this fun snow mound photo-op proved that it's spirit is still with us! Here's to another dark and wonderful winter at the top 😁
The long polar night starts at the North Pole, on the Fall Equinox, and then slowly starts to spread south, towards the Arctic Circle, up until the Winter Solstice towards the end of December, when it starts to retreat back towards the North Pole. During the polar night, the temperatures in this small city that is now in darkness tend to plunge, making the average highs during the day of -5 to -10 degrees Fahrenheit (-20 to -23 degrees Celsius) during the cold winter months. Meanwhile, the temperatures for the night can drop to -10 to -20 degrees Fahrenheit (-23 to -28 degrees Celsius).
However, despite the cold weather, the city isn’t going to be in complete darkness for the total of 65 days, when it comes to the sky. The civil twilight is going to provide them with just enough light, to make them able to see any objects that are outside, between 3 to 6 hours per day. And during this civil twilight, the sun is actually about 6 degrees below the horizon.