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Northernmost U.S. city to see first sunrise in months

Town formerly known as Barrow will see daylight for 1 hour

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Utqiagvik, formerly known as Barrow, Alaska, will be able to watch the sun break the horizon for the first time since Nov. 18.

The sun will rise Thursday at 1:09 p.m. local time and set at 2:09 p.m., giving the town of about 4,000 exactly one hour of daylight.

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A phenomenon known as polar night, when the sun remains below the horizon due to earth’s tilt, occurs for locations within polar circles.

Utqiagvik lies within the Arctic circle. In the winter months, the northern hemisphere is tilted away from the sun, keeping the sun mainly below the horizon.

Even though there hasn’t been an official sunrise in more than two months, it isn’t necessarily completely dark all the time. At its brightest, however, it will look how twilight does in the evening as the sun gets close to, but never rises above the horizon. It’s the same concept as to why there is still some light even after the sunsets.

In the warm season, the opposite is true. The northern hemisphere is tilted toward to the sun and, therefore, the sun won’t set for a couple of months. This is also known as polar day or the midnight sun.

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As you may have noticed, the daylight is increasing across Central Florida as well.

Since the winter solstice, the first day of winter and shortest day of the year, Central Florida has gained about 20 minutes of daylight. Daylight will continue to increase until the longest day of the year, the first day of summer in June.


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