LIGHTS OUT: Today the sun appears in Longyearbyen for the last time in nearly four months. It might be a challenge getting a look at it

The good news: if you’ve got a job with “normal” hours that includes an hour-long lunch break at noon you’re in a near-ideal situation at catch Longyearbyen’s last sun rays of the year and well beyond.

The bad news is you might have to fight the cloud cover or make a hasty hike to a high hill to see the last sunset before the polar night begins.


Friday’s weather forecast by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute offers at least a hope of seeing the last sunset.

The sun will rise at 12:08 p.m. and set at 1:13 p.m. Friday before it sinks below the horizon until mid-February of next year (and even then it won’t be visible to most of Longyearbyen until early March due to the surrounding mountains). But the weather forecast for Friday is iffy since cloudy skies are forecast most of the day, although a bit of clearing is predicted right about the time the sun makes its final appearance.

For those not familiar with Longyearbyen’s sunlight cycle, the final sunset will be over the horizon of Isjforden northwest of town.

There will be perhaps two weeks where useable twilight gradually dimishes, followed by total darkness until the latter part of January. The next official sunrise is Feb. 16, 2019.