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Sun sets on Alaskan city as it descends into 66-day ‘polar night’

The sun set for the last time this year in the remote Alaskan city of Utqiaġvik on Wednesday, marking the start of a 66-day period of “polar night.”

“At 1:30pm AKST this afternoon, the sun will set and Utqiaġvik will enter a 66 day period of polar night,” tweeted the National Weather Service Fairbanks. “The sun will rise again on January 23rd, 2021.”

“Goodnight Utqiaġvik!” tweeted the Bureau of Land Management Alaska.

“From the ‘It Could Be Worse’ Department …” tweeted 7 News Boston Meteorologist Josh Wurster.

Located north of the Arctic Circle on the coast of the Chukchi Sea, Utqiaġvik, which was formerly known as Barrow, is the northernmost American city. The city has 4,429 residents, according to its website.

“Although Utqiagvik is a modern community, subsistence hunting, fishing, and whaling are still very important to the local economy,” it says. “Many residents who work full- or part-time continue to hunt and fish for much of their food.”

“Polar night is the opposite of midnight sun, when none of the Sun’s disc is visible above the horizon at all,” explains TimeandDate.com. “It only happens within the polar circles.”

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