The Sun Is Returning: Blue Skies to the South

Posted by lwpetersen | January 28, 2011 | Fairbanks

Cold Valley

This view has been common for a while now. Since about mid-November the southern sky has mostly been orange, yellow, or red during the day. The Sun sits so low on the horizon that only the longer wavelength light reaches us since it must penetrate more atmosphere; the blue light scatters, which is why the sky is blue. During the winter months here, the days are really just like an extended sunset. Today I walked outside and noticed the southern sky was blue!

Blue Skies Returning

Also, the Sun was noticeably higher as the daylight is returning. Actually it’s already returning at a rate of over six minutes a day. I never noticed the change in daylight over time in the lower 48. It’s just noticeable that November’s days are shorter than September, but here I really notice it day to day. We are already starting to enter nautical twilight when we leave for work. Stars are still there, but the sky is lightening. Check out this table from www.timeanddate.com to see how much the day-to-day changes here:

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