The Aurora Zone Blog

Will it be dark all of the time?

Ali Mclean

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

How many times have we heard this said about Northern Scandinavia?

There is a perception that 24 hours of darkness falls north of the Arctic Circle for the entire winter. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Even in deepest December, when the sun doesn’t appear above the horizon for several weeks, there is what the locals call “blue time” or “kaamos”, an eerie yet magical grey/blue light that is neither night nor day.

Take somewhere like Muonio in Finnish Lapland. Muonio is a small village situated in North East Finnish Lapland and, according to people who know far more about these things than we do, the sun will disappear below the horizon on 10 December 2013 and reappear on 02 January 2014 (for 32 minutes).

So, if there’s no sun above the horizon they must have permanent night mustn't they?

Not so, “blue time” is like an extended early dawn and, even on the shortest day of the year, provides around four hours of decent light even as far north as Muonio (67°N). Additionally, the thick covering of snow that blankets absolutely everything, from forests, to frozen lakes and rivers reflects every bit of available light be it “Kaamos” or moonlight.

“Blue time” is like nothing you’ll ever experience here in the UK during our miserable winter months.

There’s precious decent daylight in this country in December and, compounded by wet and miserable rain or slush, we would far rather be enjoying the crisp, pristine snows that cover the glorious Lappish landscapes.

What would you rather be doing? Thumping the dashboard in frustration whilst stuck in another December traffic jam or completing a husky sled or snowmobile safari in the gathering darkness of a Polar night?

Read 3243 times Last modified on Friday, 26 January 2018

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