Q. Someone named Bonnie would like to know: How long does it stay dark in Alaska? And Camille would like to know: Is it dark and light as in most places; or dark for a long time and then light for a long time?
A. Camille, and Bonnie, I’ll answer you briefly here. For a fuller explanation, I’d like to ask you to take a look in the following archives:
Try an entry titled Darkness in Alaska, dated 9/4/05.
See Summer In Alaska, dated 9/15/05, and
Reason for Darkness and Light, dated 9/27/05
Lots of people are fascinated by our dark and light periods. I know the whole first couple years I lived up here, I was just in ‘shock and awe’ (to use the phrase in a better way than we hear on TV!)
Our state is so big that the dark and light varies greatly. Here in our area, we have about 5-6 hours of light in the winter (from 10 a.m. til 3:30 or 4:00 p.m.) and about 4-5 hours of dark, I’d say in the summer, maybe between about midnight and 4:00 a.m., although it isn’t totally black even then.
If you want to see really dark and really light, spend a year in Barrow, up on the Arctic Ocean. There the sun sets on November 18th and doesn’t rise again until January 23!
I’m just happy our incredible light is returning this time of year. Each day sees a few minutes increase of light and that really adds up over a 10 day period. Enough to notice. Yeah! Take care. -BJ