Is there really 30 days of darkness in Alaska with no sunlight?

 
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2,857 IKU
Posted on May. 2nd, 2008

Yes.

Our planet's tilted on an axis, so at some point during the year a very northern section of the earth is tilted away from the sun and never sees it even as the planet rotates over the course of the day.

Same thing happens in the south - but during the opposite season.

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6,898 IKU
Posted on May. 2nd, 2008

The reason that places in the extreme north or extreme south of the planet have the characteristic of extended nighttime is due to the same reason we experience different seasons: because of the tilt of the Earth on its axis. The Arctic Circle in the northern hemisphere lies at 66 degrees, 33 minutes, 39 seconds north latitude (and the Antarctic Circle is the same in the southern hemisphere, replacing north latitude with south latitude). This imaginary line is the indicator in which there exists at least 24 hours of continuous darkness. Right on the line, the darkness only lasts for a single day (though the sun will rise only briefly the day before and after the winter solstice), but the farther north (or south in the southern hemisphere) you travel of this line, the longer the period of darkness will be. The same phenomenon occurs in summer, where these extreme latitudes will experience days of continuous light as the sun travels in a circle around the sky.

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103 IKU
Posted on May. 2nd, 2008

Yes but the darkness actually lasts longer than 30 days. The period of darkness is usually about 67 days.

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152 IKU
Posted on May. 5th, 2008

yup... because the globe is turned away from the sun.

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