360° panorama view from a small mountain outside Kirkenes, Norway. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Nightless nights – Midnight sun is back

From tonight, the sun doesn’t set at this panorama view in Finnmark until July 26.
May 17, 2017

Norway’s northernmost county, Finnmark, is still covered in snow after the latest spring in decades. Anyhow, the most iconic of all summer signs in the Arctic – the Midnight sun - is now “switched on” and will stay over the horizon for the next two months.

The further north you travel, the longer is the period when the sun circles the sky. At Svalbard, the Midnight sun came already in April. Theoretically, around the clock sunshine can be seen all over north of the Arctic Circle. In practice, however, mountaintops hinder the sun from reaching many places even further north. Especially in northern Norway where mountain peaks are high along the west coast.

In disappointment to many travellers, cloudy skies could be another hinder to get a glimpse of the magic sun.

In Kirkenes, where the Barents Observer has taken this photo, next sunset is on July 26. To see the 360° ​version of the photo, visit our new photo and video section

So why do we have Midnight sun? It’s all due to the tilt of the earth where the polar hemisphere faces towards the sun in the summer. In winter, areas north of the Arctic Circle have the opposite effect, namely Polar nights when the sun stays below the horizon for nearly two months in Finnmark.

Interested in travelling to the land of the Midnight sun? Check out our Travel section.



Spectacular view of the Midnight sun from last summer.  Photo: Thomas Nilsen