Tag Archives: polar night

SUN IS BACK AT LAST…SCIENTIFICALLY SPEAKING: It was behind clouds and mountains, but after nearly four months of night Longyearbyen gets 27 minutes of sunlight Tuesday


Image from UNIS webcam

In one of those “naked underneath all those clothes” enticements, the sun revealed itself to Longyearbyen on Tuesday for the first time since late October – if 27 minutes of “exposure” behind a lot of clouds and mountains counts.

128 DAYS WITHOUT A SUNSET, THEN TWO IN ONE DAY: Nearly four-month-long polar summer ends with double disappearance in Longyearbyen; in two months the long polar night begins


Photo by Elizabeth Bourne

After nearly four months without a sunset, the sun is sinking twice in Longyearbyen on Tuesday.

The ever-present solar sphere these past few months vanished beneath the western skyline at 12:10 a.m., rising a short while and distance away at 1:50 a.m. It will vanish a second time at 11:45 p.m. before settling into a more “normal” day/night cycle that will see Longyearbyen officially go from 24-hour daylight to 24-hour darkness in exactly two months.

WE’RE OUT OF THE DARK TIMES: Well, not ‘those’ dark times, but Longyearbyen begins nearly four months of midnight sun after a day with an early sunset and subsequent sunrise

Last sunset of the year photo at roughly midnight April 18 by Elizabeth Bourne.

Among the many great “ordinary” things in Svalbard that screw with what the rest of the world considers normal is the regular occurrence of a day beginning with a sunset and ending with a sunrise.

DAWN OR DECEPTION? Longyearbyen’s first sunrise of the year after nearly four months? Well, kinda…it’s complicated


The nearly four-month-long polar night is over as the sun made a dazzling return with its rays to Longyearbyen on Saturday. Except in all but the technical sense it actually didn’t and won’t for a few more weeks.

Confused? No biggie – it happens all the time, with even the sun forgetting its norms and doing things like setting twice a day in these parts.

Random weirdness for the week of Jan. 15, 2019


“Polar bear leaps onto a Russian nuclear submarine on the search for food after the crew dumped bags of rubbish into the Arctic.” And with that headline we’re off and running with an item that’s a perfect polar trifecta of weirdness.

Random weirdness for the week of Aug. 23, 2016


The Mars Curiosity Rover has returned to Svalbard and this time you’re not just allowed to drive it, but thoroughly wreck the vehicle and the pristine landscape– all for free.

Skyjinks: No sunset on Sunday, but last one until August on Monday – why is the sun so confused?


Separating day from night is trickier in Longyearbyen than the rest of the world most of the year as it is, but the coming week is one of those biannual occasions when the sun messes with our minds more than usual by defying the basic concepts of sunrise and sunset.

Random weirdness for the week of Feb. 9, 2016


You might think you’re freezing your ass off, but in reality you’ll be getting a reminder of just how close we are to potentially becoming Death Valley (the actual desert, not our frozen plain that seems to be free of acorns). If none of that makes sense, then you’re all set to attend Svalbard’s version of a drive-in movie as “Ice Age: Continental Drift,” a 2012 animated comedy/adventure starring creatures such as mammoths and kangaroos, is screening on the snowfield across from Huset at 5 p.m. Tuesday.