As stated before, Fairbanks is very close to the Arctic Circle.  This is significant because in the summer, we get to experience the “Land of the Midnight Sun”  This phenomenon is not specific to Alaska but to areas above and around the Arctic Circle as well as on the opposite side of the earth in Antarctica.  This happens because of the tilt of the earth as it spins around the sun.

The earth spins on a constant axis of 23.5 degrees which tilts the earth towards the sun in the summer and away from the sun in the winter.  Because Alaska is so close to the Northern Pole, in the winters there is very little sunlight (approx. 3 hours) and in the summers, Depending on where in Alaska you are, you will see 24 hours of daylight.

This tilt and the time it takes to rotate around the sun is the cause for our seasons and why the sun stays up for almost 24 hours in Alaska.  There are places you are able to capture this during a few days closest to solstice (June 17-24).  You can go up to the Arctic Circle or you can see this from Eagle Summit (3600 ft. above sea level) which will allow you to see the sun hit the horizon and come back up.
<—- This website explains this process.

Midnight Sun

Barrow, Alaska is the northern most TOP city in Alaska.  Literally all the way at the top of the state, Barrow sees the effects of the midnight sun more than any other city in Alaska.  It isn’t a touristy city and would be described as a village.  Barrow (recently renamed the City of Utqiaġvik in 2016) sees 82 days of straight sunlight.  However, because they get the sun in the summer also means they get hardly any sun in the winter.  Starting every November, they get 67 days of darkness without the sun.  That’s pretty extreme, huh?

I appreciate the midnight sun because after 9 months of snow, winter and darkness (not all the time but only 3-5 hours of actual daylight in the winter) I am ready to soak up as much sun as I can.  In the summer months, I play, play, and play all by the light of the sun.  Alaska becomes a paradise unlike any other and I find that having the sun shine gives me more energy to do things into the evening.

Wanna garden at 10pm? Go for it. Go fishing into 3 am? Yup, don’t need a headlight. The sun is just THERE.   You can use this to your advantage whenever you come to visit Alaska.

Here are some links that further explain the Midnight sun:

How else the sun affects us:

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