Sun Sets in Barrow, Alaska for the Last Time in 2011

November 20, 2011; 10:10 AM ET
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Photo courtesy of University of Alaska Fairbanks, Barrow Alaska. Nov. 19, 2011

Saturday in Barrow, the sun rose at 1:09 p.m. and set, just eight minutes later, at 1:17 p.m. Alaska Standard Time. (AKST)

The residents of Barrow are used to having no sunshine for between 51-67 days of each year, according to fairbanks-alaska.com. Events in Barrow are planned around a cultural calendar that is based on the months of darkness and months of light.

Beginning in early May, the residents of Barrow will experience 11 weeks of sun with no sunset. The sun remains up and does not set again until early August.

Barrow is one of the northernmost cities of the U.S. The only land further north in the U.S. is Point Barrow.

The reason that Barrow experiences the periods of continual dark and light is due to their location close to the North Pole. As the Earth revolves on its axis, Barrow is turned away from the sun and remains in darkness until the revolution of the earth turns Barrow back toward the sun.

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