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home : opinion : opinion
October 18, 2017

1/11/2017 4:00:00 PM
Hints from the South
Longer days???
By Robert Maynard
Telegram Columnist

I normally don't write a column this early, just ask Pam Wilson if you don't believe me. I am normally squeezing my column in on the last day.  But I found this information so interesting I just had to share it with you. 

I've written in the past about the sunrise and sunset times and how they differ from north to south.  But I kind of approached it from a different perspective today by just looking at the total hours of sunshine in a day.

It is December 22, 2016 and I am on my pack patio enjoying the second day of winter with morning temperatures of 64 degrees.  Today we will have 10 hours and 22 minutes of sunlight. Jackson will have nine hours and 26 minutes, Columbus will have nine hours and 20 minutes of sunlight.  This six-minute difference between Jackson and Columbus is what triggered my deeper research. 

Anchorage, Alaska will have five hours and 28 minutes of daylight today.  Alaska is a huge state so as we move from southern Alaska to mid Alaska, we will be in Fairbanks.  Fairbanks will have three hours and 42 minutes of sunlight today. And then as we go to northern Alaska we land in Barrow, which will not see the sun for another 67 days.

Before you feel too sorry for the folks in Barrow, keep in mind that in the summer time they will see the sun constantly for over 80 days.  Barrow sits 330 miles north of the Arctic Circle.  The Arctic Circle is the line which separates the land of the true midnight sun to the north, and the land that sees the sunrise and sunset to some degree year around to the south.

Now let's take a big jump to Melbourne, Australia; their total sunlight hours today will be 14 hours, 47 minutes and 19 seconds, to be precise.  Isn't that incredible?  The extreme differences from one part of this planet to the other is crazy.

If we go to the South Pole, they experience only one sunrise per year during the September equinox, and only one sunset per year during the March equinox. Of course, the exact opposite would be true if you were on the North Pole.  I just find that amazing!!!

God bless you all -- RHM

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