Polar night

The polar night occurs in the northernmost and southernmost regions of the Earth when the night lasts for more than 24 hours. This occurs only inside the polar circles.[1] The opposite phenomenon, the polar day, or midnight sun, occurs when the Sun stays above the horizon for more than 24 hours. "Night" is understood as the center of the Sun being below a free horizon. Since the atmosphere bends the rays of the Sun, the polar day is longer than the polar night, and the area that is affected by polar night is somewhat smaller than the area of midnight sun. The polar circle is located at a latitude between these two areas, at the latitude of approximately 66.5 degrees. In the northernmost city of Sweden, Kiruna, at 67°51'N, the polar night lasts for around 28 twenty-four-hour periods, while the midnight sun lasts around 50 twenty-four-hour periods. While it is day in the Arctic Circle, it is night in the Antarctic Circle, and vice versa.

Any planet or moon with a sufficient axial tilt that rotates with respect to its star significantly more frequently than it orbits the star (no tidal locking between the two) will experience the same phenomenon (a nighttime lasting more than one rotation period).

Polar-Night Longyearbyen
Characteristic polar night blue twilight, Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway located at 78° north.
Amundsen-Scott marsstation ray h
Polar night at the South Pole, Antarctica.
Polar night in Naryan-Mar
Polar night in Naryan-Mar, Russia. December 23, 2014, 11:27 (noon)

Description

The polar shortest day is not totally dark everywhere inside the polar circle, but only in places within about 5.5° of the poles, and only when the moon is well below the horizon. Regions located at the inner border of the polar circles experience polar twilight instead of polar night. In fact, polar regions typically get more twilight throughout the year than equatorial regions.

For regions inside the polar circles, the maximum lengths of the time that the Sun is completely below the horizon varies from zero a few degrees beyond the Arctic Circle and Antarctic Circle to 179 days at the Poles. However, not all this time is classified as polar night since sunlight may be visible because of refraction. The time when any part of the Sun is above the horizon at the poles is 186 days. The preceding numbers are average numbers: the ellipticity of the Earth's orbit makes the South Pole receive a week more of Sun-below-horizon than the North Pole (see equinox).

Types of polar night

Morketidettermiddag
Early afternoon during the polar night in Tromsø, Norway.
Nordkinnhalvoya-polar-night
Polar night on Nordkinn Peninsula in Norway, mainland Europe's northernmost peninsula.

As there are various kinds of twilight, there also exist various kinds of polar night. Each kind of polar night is defined as when it's darker than the corresponding kind of twilight. The descriptions below are based on relatively clear skies, so the sky will be darker in the presence of dense clouds.

Polar twilight

Polar twilight occurs in areas that are located at the inner border of the polar circles, where the Sun will be on or below the horizon all day on the winter solstice. There is then no true daylight at the solar culmination, only civil twilight. This means that the Sun is below the horizon, but by less than 6°. During civil twilight, there may still be enough light for most normal outdoor activities because of light scattering by the upper atmosphere and refraction. Street lamps may remain on and a person looking at a window from within a brightly lit room may see their reflection even at noon, as the level of outdoor illuminance will be below that of many illuminated indoor spaces.

Sufferers of seasonal affective disorder tend to seek out therapy with artificial light, as the psychological benefits of daylight require relatively high levels of ambient light (up to 10,000 lux) which are not present in any stage of twilight; thus, the midday twilights experienced anywhere inside the polar circles are still "polar night" for this purpose.

Civil polar night

The civil polar night period produces only a faint glow of light visible at midday. It happens when there is no civil twilight and only nautical twilight occurs at the solar culmination. Civil twilight happens when the Sun is between 0 and 6° below the horizon, and civil night when it is lower than that. Therefore, the civil polar night is limited to latitudes above 72° 34', which is exactly 6° inside the polar circle. Nowhere on mainland Europe is this definition met. On the Norwegian territory of Svalbard, however, civil polar night lasts from about 11 November until 30 January. Dikson, in Russia, experiences civil polar night for approximately a month. During dense cloud cover places like the coast of Finnmark (about 70°) in Norway will get a darker "day". On the Canadian territory of Pond Inlet, Nunavut however civil polar night lasts from about 16 December until 26 December.

Nautical polar night

During the nautical polar night period, there is no trace of daylight, except around midday. It happens when there is no nautical twilight and only astronomical twilight occurs at the solar culmination. Nautical twilight happens when the Sun is between six and twelve degrees below the horizon. There is a location at the horizon around midday with more light than others because of refraction. During nautical night, the Sun is lower than 12° below the horizon, so nautical polar night is limited to latitudes above 78° 34', which is exactly 12° within the polar circle, or 11.5° from the pole. Alert, Nunavut, the northernmost settlement in Canada and the world, experiences this from November 19 to January 22.

The northernmost point of land, at the end of Greenland at Oodap Qeqertaa, experiences this from November 15 to January 27.

On the Canadian territory of Eureka, Nunavut in Canada experiences this December 2 to January 8.

On the Norwegian territory of Svalbard Ny-Alesund experiences this from December 13 to December 31.

Astronomical polar night

The astronomical polar night is a period of continuous night where no astronomical twilight occurs. Astronomical twilight happens when the Sun is between twelve and eighteen degrees below the horizon and astronomical night when it is lower than that. Thus, the astronomical polar night is limited to latitudes above 84° 34', which is exactly 18° within the polar circle, or five and a half degrees from the pole. During the astronomical polar night stars of the sixth magnitude, which are the dimmest stars visible to the naked eye, will be visible throughout the entire day. This happens when the sun is between 18 and 23.5 degrees below the horizon. These conditions last about 11 weeks at the poles.

The Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station experiences this from May 11 to August 1.

The North Pole experiences this from November 13 to January 29.[2]

Polar Sun cycle

If an observer located on either the North Pole or the South Pole were to define a "day" as the time from the maximal elevation of the Sun above the horizon during one period of daylight, until the maximal elevation of the Sun above the horizon of the next period of daylight, then a "polar-day" as experienced by such an observer would be one Earth-year long.[3]

In popular culture

The concept of a night of almost one month in length has been the subject of the vampire movies Frostbite and 30 Days of Night. In these films, the vampires are drawn to the long duration of darkness, allowing them to openly kill and feed at will.

References

  1. ^ Burn, Chris. The Polar Night (PDF). The Aurora Research Institute. Retrieved 28 September 2015.
  2. ^ Rao, Joe (21 September 2010). "The Myth of Arctic Daylight and Darkness Exposed". Live Science. Retrieved 14 April 2017.
  3. ^ NASA: The Sun and Seasons NASA. (See last paragraph, section 164.) By David Stern. Last updated Sept. 17, 2004. Downloaded Feb. 17, 2017.

Further reading

External links

30 Days of Night (film)

30 Days of Night is a 2007 American horror film based on the comic book miniseries of the same name. The film is directed by David Slade and stars Josh Hartnett and Melissa George. The story focuses on an Alaskan town beset by vampires as it enters into a thirty-day long polar night.

30 Days of Night was originally pitched as a comic, then as a film, but it was rejected. Years later, Steve Niles showed IDW Publishing the idea and it took off. The film was produced on a budget of $30 million and grossed over $75 million at the box office during its six-week run starting on October 19, 2007. Critical reviews were mixed.

A sequel, Dark Days, was released on October 5, 2010 straight to home video. A prequel miniseries, Blood Trails, was released on FEARnet.com and FEARnet On Demand in 2007.

Antarctic Circle

The Antarctic Circle is the most southerly of the five major circles of latitude that mark maps of the Earth. The region south of this circle is known as the Antarctic, and the zone immediately to the north is called the Southern Temperate Zone. South of the Antarctic Circle, the sun is above the horizon for 24 continuous hours at least once per year (and therefore visible at midnight) and the centre of the sun is below the horizon for 24 continuous hours at least once per year (and therefore not visible at noon); this is also true within the equivalent polar circle in the Northern Hemisphere, the Arctic Circle.

The position of the Antarctic Circle is not fixed; as of 6 March 2019, it runs 66°33′47.5″ south of the Equator. Its latitude depends on the Earth's axial tilt, which fluctuates within a margin of more than 2° over a 41,000-year period, due to tidal forces resulting from the orbit of the Moon. Consequently, the Antarctic Circle is currently drifting southwards at a speed of about 15 m (49 ft) per year.

Arctic Alaska

Arctic Alaska or Far North Alaska is a region of the U.S. state of Alaska generally referring to the northern areas on or close to the Arctic Ocean.

It commonly includes North Slope Borough, Northwest Arctic Borough, Nome Census Area, and is sometimes taken to include parts of the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area. Some notable towns there include Prudhoe Bay, Barrow, Kotzebue, Nome, and Galena.

Most of these communities have no highways and can only be reached by aircraft or snowmobile in good weather. Originally inhabited by various Alaska Native groups living off hunting, whaling, or salmon fishing, modern settlement in Arctic Alaska was driven first by discoveries of gold and later on by the extraction of petroleum.

The ecosystem consists largely of tundra covering mountain ranges and coastal plains which are home to bears, wolves, sheep, oxen, reindeer, and numerous species of birds, the north coast has been defined as the Arctic coastal tundra ecoregion. Arctic Alaska is also the location of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, and the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. The Arctic experiences midnight sun in the summer and polar night in the winter.

Arctic Circle

The Arctic Circle is one of the two polar circles and the most northerly of the five major circles of latitude as shown on maps of Earth. It marks the northernmost point at which the centre of the noon sun is just visible on the December solstice and the southernmost point at which the centre of the midnight sun is just visible on the June solstice. The region north of this circle is known as the Arctic, and the zone just to the south is called the Northern Temperate Zone.

As seen from the Arctic, the Sun is above the horizon for 24 continuous hours at least once per year (and therefore visible at midnight) and below the horizon for 24 continuous hours at least once per year (and therefore not visible at noon). This is also true in the Antarctic region, south of the equivalent Antarctic Circle.

The position of the Arctic Circle is not fixed; as of 12 March 2019, it runs 66°33′47.5″ north of the Equator. Its latitude depends on the Earth's axial tilt, which fluctuates within a margin of more than 2° over a 41,000-year period, due to tidal forces resulting from the orbit of the Moon. Consequently, the Arctic Circle is currently drifting northwards at a speed of about 15 metres (49 feet) per year.

Ivalo

Ivalo (Inari Sami: Avveel, Northern Sami: Avvil, Skolt Sami: Âʹvvel) is a village in the municipality of Inari, Lapland, Finland, located on the Ivalo River 20 kilometres (12 mi) south of Lake Inari. It has a population of 3,998 as of 2003 and a small airport. 30 kilometres (19 mi) south of Ivalo is a very popular resort named Saariselkä.

Many tourists visit this place every year for winter sports (downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, husky and reindeer sledge riding) and for summer activities (trekking and hiking in the Saariselkä fjells, canoeing in Lapland's rivers, mountain biking, panning for gold, fishing, etc.).

Ivalo was severely damaged during the Lapland War (1944–1945) by retreating German troops led by Generaloberst Lothar Rendulic. The village was subsequently extensively rebuilt.The "midnight sun" is above the horizon from 24 May to 22 July (70 days), and the period with continuous daylight lasts a bit longer, polar night from 28 November to 9 January (43 days).

Jet stream

Jet streams are fast flowing, narrow, meandering air currents in the atmospheres of some planets, including Earth. On Earth, the main jet streams are located near the altitude of the tropopause and are westerly winds (flowing west to east). Their paths typically have a meandering shape. Jet streams may start, stop, split into two or more parts, combine into one stream, or flow in various directions including opposite to the direction of the remainder of the jet.

The strongest jet streams are the polar jets, at nine–twelve km (30,000–39,000 ft) above sea level, and the higher altitude and somewhat weaker subtropical jets at 10–16 km (33,000–52,000 ft). The Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere each have a polar jet and a subtropical jet. The northern hemisphere polar jet flows over the middle to northern latitudes of North America, Europe, and Asia and their intervening oceans, while the southern hemisphere polar jet mostly circles Antarctica all year round.

Jet streams are the product of two factors: the atmospheric heating by solar radiation that produces the large-scale Polar, Ferrel, and Hadley circulation cells, and the action of the Coriolis force acting on those moving masses. The Coriolis force is caused by the planet's rotation on its axis. On other planets, internal heat rather than solar heating drives their jet streams. The Polar jet stream forms near the interface of the Polar and Ferrel circulation cells; the subtropical jet forms near the boundary of the Ferrel and Hadley circulation cells.Other jet streams also exist. During the Northern Hemisphere summer, easterly jets can form in tropical regions, typically where dry air encounters more humid air at high altitudes. Low-level jets also are typical of various regions such as the central United States. There are also jet streams in the thermosphere.

Meteorologists use the location of some of the jet streams as an aid in weather forecasting. The main commercial relevance of the jet streams is in air travel, as flight time can be dramatically affected by either flying with the flow or against, which results in significant fuel and time cost savings for airlines. Often, the airlines work to fly 'with' the jet stream for this reason. Dynamic North Atlantic Tracks are one example of how airlines and air traffic control work together to accommodate the jet stream and winds aloft that results in the maximum benefit for airlines and other users. Clear-air turbulence, a potential hazard to aircraft passenger safety, is often found in a jet stream's vicinity, but it does not create a substantial alteration on flight times.

Kaamos (Swedish band)

Kaamos was a Swedish death metal band that was formed in 1998 and disbanded in 2006. The band's name comes from the Finnish word for polar night.

Kittilä

Kittilä (Inari Sami: Kittâl, Northern Sami: Gihttel) is a municipality of Finland and a popular holiday resort.

It is located in northern Finland north of the Arctic Circle within the Lapland region. The municipality has a population of 6,449 (31 January 2019) and covers an area of 8,262.97 square kilometres (3,190.35 sq mi) of which 168.71 km2 (65.14 sq mi) is water. The population density is 0.8 inhabitants per square kilometre (2.1/sq mi).

The ski resort Levi is situated in Kittilä on Levi Fell (in Finnish "Levitunturi") (elevation 531 metres (1742 feet)). The resort hosts a slalom event early each season on the Alpine World Cup circuit and offers both downhill and cross-country skiing to the public, as well as snow shoeing, including to the next nearest fell, Kätkätunturi, located west of Levitunturi. Kätkätunturi is 504.6 metres (1,656 ft) high and 7 kilometres (4 mi) long.

On 5 June 2006, it was announced that a Canadian mining corporation Agnico-Eagle Mines will start a new gold mine in Kittilä. Once completed, it will be the biggest gold mine in Europe. Experts say that the deposits hold at least three million ounces of gold, by current market price worth 1.8 billion U.S. dollars. The mine is expected to produce an average of 150,000 ounces of gold annually for at least 13 years.

Kittilä Airport is served by Blue1, Finnair, Norwegian Air, and Finncomm Airlines. Thomson Airways also serves the airport from various UK bases as part of their programme of ski flights, as well as Christmas specials and flights in support of the When You Wish Upon A Star children's foundation. Thomas Cook Airlines also fly to Kittilä Airport from Bristol and Gatwick Airport between November to April every year.

Kittilä is also famous for being the location of the lowest recorded temperature in Finnish history: −51.5 °C (−60.7 °F), measured in January 1999 in Pokka. The "midnight sun" is above the horizon from 29 May to 16 July, and the period with continuous daylight lasts a bit longer, polar night from 14 December to 29 December.

Muonio

Muonio (previously called Muonionniska, Northern Sami: Muoná) is a municipality of Finland.

The town is located in far northern Finland above the Arctic Circle on the country's western border, within the area of the former Lappi (Lapland) province. The municipality has a population of 2,306 (31 January 2019) and covers an area of 2,039.97 square kilometres (787.64 sq mi) of which 133.91 km2 (51.70 sq mi) is water. The population density is 1.21 inhabitants per square kilometre (3.1/sq mi). The next closest Finnish municipalities are Enontekiö, Kittilä, and Kolari; and to the west is Sweden's Pajala.

On the south side of town, a road bridge crosses the Muonio River, linking Muonio to northern Norrbotten County, Sweden. Muonio is good base for exploring the many things to do in the area and is on the E8 highway which goes north to Kilpisjärvi.

Muonio is known as the municipality with the longest snow season in Finland. For that reason its vocational college has a top ski class that attracts aspiring cross-country ski champions from all over Finland.

The municipality is unilingually Finnish, unlike many towns on the Finland-Sweden border.

The "midnight sun" is above the horizon from 27 May to 17 July (52 days), and the period with continuous daylight lasts a bit longer, polar night from 10 December to 2 January (24 days).

North American Arctic

The North American Arctic comprises the northern portions of Alaska (USA), Northern Canada and Greenland. Major bodies of water include the Arctic Ocean, Hudson Bay, the Gulf of Alaska and North Atlantic Ocean. The western limit is the Seward Peninsula and the Bering Strait. The southern limit is the Arctic Circle latitude of 66° 33’N, which is the approximate limit of the midnight sun and the polar night.

The Arctic region is defined by environmental limits where the average temperature for the warmest month (July) is below 10 °C (50 °F). The northernmost tree line roughly follows the isotherm at the boundary of this region. The area has tundra and polar vegetation.

Novaya Zemlya effect

The Novaya Zemlya effect is a polar mirage caused by high refraction of sunlight between atmospheric thermal layers. The Novaya Zemlya effect will give the impression that the sun is rising earlier than it actually should (astronomically speaking), and depending on the meteorological situation, the effect will present the Sun as a line or a square (which is sometimes referred to as the "rectangular sun"), made up of flattened hourglass shapes. The mirage requires rays of sunlight to have an inversion layer for hundreds of kilometres (at least 400 km), and depends on the inversion layer's temperature gradient. The sunlight must bend to the Earth's curvature at least 400 km to allow an elevation rise of 5° for sight of the solar disk.

The first person to record the phenomenon was Gerrit de Veer, a member of Willem Barentsz's ill-fated third expedition into the north polar region in 1596–1597. Trapped by the ice, the party was forced to stay for the winter in a makeshift lodge on the archipelago of Novaya Zemlya and endure the polar night. On January 24, 1597, De Veer and another crew member claimed to have seen the Sun appear above the horizon, two full weeks prior to its calculated return. They were met with disbelief by the rest of the crew (who accused De Veer of having used the old Julian calendar instead of the Gregorian calendar introduced several years earlier), but on January 27 the Sun was seen by all "in his full roundnesse". For centuries the account was the source of skepticism, until in the 20th century the phenomenon was finally proven to be genuine.

Polar Night Halfmarathon

Polar Night Halfmarathon is an annual half marathon running competition in Tromsø, Norway. It takes place in the beginning of January, during the Polar night-period, when the sun does not rise above the horizon. At almost 70° north, it is the northernmost AIMS-certified (Association of International Marathons and Distance Races) half marathon in the world. It is renowned for its torch-lit route and the chance of running underneath the aurora borealis.

Polar aviation

Polar aviation refers to aviation in polar regions of the Earth. Specifically, one may speak of Arctic aviation and Antarctic aviation in the Arctic and Antarctica respectively.

The major factors which define the character of the polar aviation is the remoteness from the major populated areas, specific physical geography and the climate. Major factors include low temperatures, frequent changes of meteorological conditions, polar night, uncertain work of compass, difficulties in radio communication, lack of landmarks.

Stratosphere

The stratosphere () is the second major layer of Earth's atmosphere, just above the troposphere, and below the mesosphere. The stratosphere is stratified (layered) in temperature, with warmer layers higher and cooler layers closer to the Earth; this increase of temperature with altitude is a result of the absorption of the Sun's ultraviolet radiation by the ozone layer. This is in contrast to the troposphere, near the Earth's surface, where temperature decreases with altitude. The border between the troposphere and stratosphere, the tropopause, marks where this temperature inversion begins. Near the equator, the stratosphere starts at as high as 20 km (66,000 ft; 12 mi), around 10 km (33,000 ft; 6.2 mi) at midlatitudes, and at about 7 km (23,000 ft; 4.3 mi) at the poles. Temperatures range from an average of −51 °C (−60 °F; 220 K) near the tropopause to an average of −15 °C (5.0 °F; 260 K) near the mesosphere. Stratospheric temperatures also vary within the stratosphere as the seasons change, reaching particularly low temperatures in the polar night (winter). Winds in the stratosphere can far exceed those in the troposphere, reaching near 60 m/s (220 km/h; 130 mph) in the Southern polar vortex.

Sunset

Sunset or sundown is the daily disappearance of the Sun below the horizon due to Earth's rotation. As viewed from the Equator, the equinox Sun sets exactly due west in both spring and fall. As viewed from the middle latitudes, the local summer Sun sets to the northwest for the Northern Hemisphere, but to the southwest for the Southern Hemisphere.

The time of sunset is defined in astronomy as the moment when the upper limb of the Sun disappears below the horizon. Near the horizon, atmospheric refraction causes sunlight rays to be distorted to such an extent that geometrically the solar disk is already about one diameter below the horizon when a sunset is observed.

Sunset is distinct from twilight, which is divided into three stages, the first being civil twilight, which begins once the Sun has disappeared below the horizon, and continues until it descends to 6 degrees below the horizon; the second phase is nautical twilight, between 6 and 12 degrees below the horizon; and the third is astronomical twilight, which is the period when the Sun is between 12 and 18 degrees below the horizon. Dusk is at the very end of astronomical twilight, and is the darkest moment of twilight just before night. Night occurs when the Sun reaches 18 degrees below the horizon and no longer illuminates the sky.

Locations further north than the Arctic Circle and further south than the Antarctic Circle experience no full sunset or sunrise on at least one day of the year, when the polar day or the polar night persists continuously for 24 hours, but full polar night occurs only at a latitude of more than about 72.5 degrees.

Sunset creates unique atmospheric conditions such as the often intense orange and red colors of the Sun and the surrounding sky.

Svalbard

Svalbard (; Urban East Norwegian: [²sʋɑːlbɑɾ]; prior to 1925 known by its Dutch name 'Spitsbergen') is a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. Situated north of mainland Europe, it is about midway between continental Norway and the North Pole. The islands of the group range from 74° to 81° north latitude, and from 10° to 35° east longitude. The largest island is Spitsbergen, followed by Nordaustlandet and Edgeøya. Administratively, the archipelago is not part of any Norwegian county, but forms an unincorporated area administered by a governor appointed by the Norwegian government. Since 2002, Svalbard's main settlement, Longyearbyen, has had an elected local government, somewhat similar to mainland municipalities. Other settlements include the Russian mining community of Barentsburg, the research station of Ny-Ålesund, and the mining outpost of Sveagruva. Ny-Ålesund is the northernmost settlement in the world with a permanent civilian population. Other settlements are farther north, but are populated only by rotating groups of researchers.

The islands were first taken into use as a whaling base for the Danish Empire as Dano-Norwegians travelled north in hunt of whale fat in the 17th and 18th centuries, after which they were abandoned. Coal mining started at the beginning of the 20th century, and several permanent communities were established. The Svalbard Treaty of 1920 recognizes Norwegian sovereignty, and the 1925 Svalbard Act made Svalbard a full part of the Kingdom of Norway. They also established Svalbard as a free economic zone and a demilitarized zone. The Norwegian Store Norske and the Russian Arktikugol remain the only mining companies in place. Research and tourism have become important supplementary industries, with the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) and the Svalbard Global Seed Vault playing critical roles. No roads connect the settlements; instead snowmobiles, aircraft and boats serve inter-community transport. Svalbard Airport, Longyear serves as the main gateway.

The archipelago features an Arctic climate, although with significantly higher temperatures than other areas at the same latitude. The flora take advantage of the long period of midnight sun to compensate for the polar night. Svalbard is a breeding ground for many seabirds, and also features polar bears, reindeer, the Arctic fox, and certain marine mammals. Seven national parks and twenty-three nature reserves cover two-thirds of the archipelago, protecting the largely untouched, yet fragile, natural environment. Approximately 60% of the archipelago is covered with glaciers, and the islands feature many mountains and fjords.

Svalbard and Jan Mayen are collectively assigned the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country code "SJ". Both areas are administered by Norway, though they are separated by a distance of over 950 kilometres (510 nautical miles) and have very different administrative structures.

Tromsø

Tromsø (Norwegian pronunciation: [²trʊmsœ] (listen); Northern Sami: Romsa; Finnish: Tromssa; Kven: Tromssa) is a municipality in Troms county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the city of Tromsø. Outside Norway, Tromso and Tromsö are alternative spellings of the name.

Tromsø lies in Northern Norway. The 2,521-square-kilometre (973 sq mi) municipality is the 18th largest by area out of the 422 municipalities in Norway. Tromsø is the 9th most populous municipality in Norway with a population of 75,638. The municipality's population density is 30.6 inhabitants per square kilometre (79/sq mi) and its population has increased by 15.9% over the last decade. It is the largest urban area in Northern Norway and the third largest north of the Arctic Circle anywhere in the world (following Murmansk and Norilsk). Most of Tromsø, including the city centre, is located on the island of Tromsøya, 350 kilometres (217 mi) north of the Arctic Circle. In 2017, the city of Tromsø had a population of about 65,000 people spread out over Tromsøya and parts of Kvaløya and the mainland. Tromsøya is connected to the mainland by the Tromsø Bridge and the Tromsøysund Tunnel, and to the island of Kvaløya by the Sandnessund Bridge.

The municipality is warmer than most other places located on the same latitude, due to the warming effect of the Gulf Stream. Tromsø is even milder than places much farther south of it elsewhere in the world, such as on the Hudson Bay and in Far East Russia, with the warm-water current allowing for both relatively mild winters and tree growth in spite of its very high latitude.

The city centre of Tromsø contains the highest number of old wooden houses in Northern Norway, the oldest house dating from 1789. The city is a cultural centre for its region, with several festivals taking place in the summer. Torbjørn Brundtland and Svein Berge of the electronica duo Röyksopp and Lene Marlin grew up and started their careers in Tromsø. Noted electronic musician Geir Jenssen also hails from Tromsø.

Utsjoki

Utsjoki (Northern Sami: Ohcejohka, Inari Sami: Uccjuuhâ, Skolt Sami: Uccjokk, Norwegian: Utsjok) is a municipality in Finland, the northernmost in the country. It is in Lapland and borders Norway as well as the municipality of Inari. The municipality was founded in 1876. It has a population of 1,235

(31 January 2019) and covers an area of 5,372.00 square kilometres (2,074.14 sq mi) of

which 227.51 km2 (87.84 sq mi)

is water. The population density is

0.24 inhabitants per square kilometre (0.62/sq mi).

Utsjoki has two official languages: Finnish and Northern Sami. It is the municipality in Finland with the largest portion of Sami speakers; 46.6% of the population.The border to Norway follows the river Teno which flows into the Arctic Sea. The river is a popular site for recreational fishing because it is rich in salmon. The northernmost village in Finland and in the European Union is Nuorgam which is also the northernmost land border crossing in the world.

Utsjoki is at the northern end of highway 4, the longest highway in Finland. The European route E75 runs along the Sami Bridge further to Norway.

Between the Teno and the Utsjoki river, there is an old hotel very popular between Norwegians and Finns alike, that was built by the Finnish Tourist Association in 1959. The outside look is still the same, but the rooms have been renovated and the hotel is now named Hotel Luossajohka.

The Nature reserve Kevo is in the municipality. It covers a territory of 712 km2 (275 sq mi) and there is a 63 km (39 mi) long hiking trail. The trail partly follows the edge of the Kevo canyon.

The "midnight sun" is above the horizon from 17 May to 28 July (73 days), and the period with continuous daylight lasts a bit longer, polar night from 26 November to 15 January (51 days).

Vadsø (town)

Vadsø (Northern Sami: Čáhcesuolu; Kven: Vesisaari) is a town in Vadsø Municipality in Finnmark county, Norway. The town is the administrative centre of both Vadsø Municipality and Finnmark county, and is the largest town in East Finnmark. The town is located on the southern shore of the Varanger Peninsula, along the Varanger Fjord. Part of the town lies on the island of Vadsøya. It is connected to the rest of the town on the mainland by a bridge.

The 3.36-square-kilometre (830-acre) town has a population (2017) of 5,064 which gives the town a population density of 1,507 inhabitants per square kilometre (3,900/sq mi). Vadsø Church is located in the town, and it is the seat of the dean of the Varanger prosti (deanery) which is part of the Diocese of Nord-Hålogaland. The "midnight sun" is above the horizon from 17 May to 28 July, and the period with continuous daylight lasts a bit longer. The period of polar night lasts from 26 November to 17 January.

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