Polar night begins in Norilsk today
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Polar night begins in Norilsk today

November 29, 2022

Until January 13, the sun will not appear over the horizon.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. Polar night does not necessarily mean complete darkness for 45 days – during this period, part of the day can pass at dusk. At different times of the polar night, experts distinguish civil polar night, navigational and astronomical ones. When dusk does not occur at all, the phenomenon is called full polar night.

During the polar night at the latitudes of Norilsk and Dudinka, a slight lightening is observed during the day, but the sun does not rise above the horizon.

The polar night can be observed in all cities and towns of the Arctic – Apatity, Bilibino, Verhoyansk, Vorkuta, Zapolyarny, Igarka, Kandalaksha, Kirovsk, Kola, Labytnangi, Monchegorsk, Murmansk, Naryan-Mar, Olenegorsk, Pevek, Polyarnye Zori, Polyarny, Salehard, Severomorsk and others. The farther beyond the Arctic Circle, the longer the polar night is: at the North Pole it lasts almost half a year – from September 25 to March 17.

Local historians and scientists are still arguing about the true date of the polar night onset at the latitude of Norilsk (November 29 or 30). In the discussion, they even give formulas for correctly calculating the beginning of the polar night for each year. But while the anoraks are arguing, the polar night inevitably comes.

Many northerners do not tolerate these 45 days of polar night very well. With those who have recently arrived in the Arctic, the situation is even worse, since, according to scientists, it takes at least three years for a newcomer to fully adapt in the North.

During the polar night, many suffer from excessive drowsiness or, conversely, insomnia and sleep anxiety. The darkness and dullness of a short afternoon these days have a depressing effect on people, suggesting gloomy, joyless thoughts. But there are many among us and those who not only endure darkness normally, but have been in high spirits all this time. Psychologists say that such a mood is typical for notorious individualists, whom the darkness cuts off from the irrelevant details of the world around them.

In January we all joyfully meet the appearance of the sun over the horizon. At the beginning of this year, the Norilsk people met the sun creatively.

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Text: Denis Kozhevnikov, photo: Nikolay Shchipko

November 29, 2022

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