The Midnight Sun In Fairbanks, Alaska

The Midnight Sun In Fairbanks, Alaska

Have you ever heard of the Midnight Sun? It probably sounds like something from a dream or a fantasy movie, but it’s an actual thing. Here is more on the science of this phenomenon and what it is like to experience it here in Alaska.

The Science of Midnight Sun

Midnight Sun, also known as Polar Day, White Night, and Nightless Night, isn’t magic; it’s a natural occurrence that is all about Earth’s tilt and your proximity to the North and South Poles. Our planet is tilted at 23.4 degrees on its axis, and during the summer months in the Northern Hemisphere, the North Pole is tilted more towards the Sun. This keeps Fairbanks bathed in sunlight for extended periods, in which the Sun dips below the horizon but never fully sets. Then, the Sun rises back into the sky for another long period of daylight. Fairbanks sees 24-hour daylight for 70 days, from mid-May to mid-July. Polar Night is a similar phenomenon but occurs in the winter. Because of the tilt of the Earth in the opposite direction, the Sun stays below the horizon, resulting in long periods of darkness.

What’s It Like In Person?

The Midnight Sun is an experience like no other. Depending on your latitude, the days can stretch forever, with a twilight period instead of complete darkness. Also, depending on your longitude, you may experience peak times later or earlier than midnight. This can initially disrupt sleep schedules but also opens doors for unique adventures.

Imagine a hike through Denali National Park bathed in the golden glow of the midnight sun, kayaking on a calm lake reflecting the endless sky, enjoying a late meal, or walking your dog through the neighborhood at an hour you would usually be fast asleep. The opportunities for exploration and creating unforgettable memories are endless.

Celebrating the Midnight Sun

Every year, on the Saturday closest to the summer solstice, Fairbanks hosts a free Midnight Sun Festival.   This year, the 42nd annual event will be on June 22nd, 2024, and is described as a vibrant explosion of local culture featuring live music, local food vendors, and unique Alaskan crafts. It’s the perfect way to experience the best of Fairbanks and the wonder of the Midnight Sun all in one unforgettable day!

More To Explore

Explore Fairbanks Midnight Sun TrackerCheck out when you can see the midnight sun in several locations around Alaska. This interactive tracker also includes a few webcams and some fun information.

Midnight Sun Baseball GameLearn more about the Midnight Sun Baseball Game that the Alaska Goldpanners baseball team hosts on June 21st each year. This fun Fairbanks tradition began in 1906 and has been played yearly without artificial lighting.

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