According to the World Almanac, Alaska has the longest days of sunlight in the world. The exact statement goes as follows: “The sun is above the horizon for twenty-four hours on or about June 20, and for twenty-four hours on or about December 22.”
So why does Alaska have such long days?
If you look at a map of the world, the only part of North America that’s above the Arctic Circle is in Alaska. That’s why Alaska has really long days. Summer in Alaska lasts from May until September and winter last from October to March.
It can get dark in the winter, but it’s never completely dark. The North Star is above the horizon all night long and little outdoor lights give some light, so you can still see a few things outside in the winter.
Also, Alaska sits on top of an ocean of ice called the Arctic Ocean that covers Canada and Russia to its north and Greenland to its east. All three of these places have 24-hour sunlight in the summer and 24-hour darkness in the winter.
People who live there get used to it, but people from other places complain about how strange it is that it can be so bright at night. But they don’t always realize that if you go up into the high mountains and away from the ocean, it starts to get dark.
Just like when you’re at the beach in California or Hawaii and all of a sudden it gets pitch black because there are no lights around, like streetlights. It’s just natural to think that if you move away from an area where lots of people can see the outdoors that it will become dark, but if you go to Alaska or up in a mountain in Colorado it can be just as bright.
If you look at the rest of North America, except for parts of Canada and Mexico, the sun only sets for a couple of hours each day no matter what time of year it is.
So if you live in the southern part of the United States, where you’re used to twenty-four hours of sunlight or darkness each day, there are two things that help people adjust to Alaska.
The first is Polaris, a star just like our sun except it’s much brighter and always above the horizon in almost every part of Alaska. It’s the only star you can see at the same time of year no matter where you are in Alaska, and it’s a huge help in knowing whether it’s day or night.
That’s all we have to share today for why Alaska has what we believe to be really long days in comparison to other areas in the world.