Sunday, June 21, 2009

the sun never sets

late night in stockholm. Image from here on flickr.

"A solstice is an astronomical event that occurs twice each year, when the tilt of the Earth's axis is most inclined toward or away from the Sun, causing the Sun's apparent position in the sky to reach its northernmost or southernmost extreme.

The name is derived from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still), because at the solstices, the Sun stands still in declination; that is, the apparent movement of the Sun's path north or south comes to a stop before reversing direction.

The term solstice can also be used in a wider sense, as the date (day) when this occurs. The solstices, together with the equinoxes, are connected with the seasons."

On the summer solstice (June 21st) the sun never sets in Sweden. This doesn't mean the sun is blasting for 24 hours, but rather a more subtle event where night just doesn't occur - and instead day turns into day.

At the polar circle you can actually see (if you're lucky) the sun turning at the horizon - as if its' changed its' mind - and rising again. In Stockholm it's not that dramatic, but magical all the same.

Above is an image of the Stockholm sky at night in the summer (Stockholm in my heart!). If weather permits I'll see if I can take one tonight that will show this phenomena better...

UPDATE: I did indeed take some pictures, but couldn't bare to take down this one of Vasastan chimneys at night.

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