The sun has gone down for the last time this year in Norway’s northernmost counties, and won’t rise again until well after New Year. That doesn’t mean simply dark skies, though, as the sun below the horizon can still send out spectacular colors at midday.
Many areas of Finnmark “lost” the sun last week, and now most other northern cities and towns on the national weather map are showing the sun under the horizon. The annual season known as mørketiden (literally, “the dark time”) began on Thursday in Tromsø.
Many call the mid-winter period fargetiden (“the color time”), because of what appear to be lengthy sunrises and sunsets at mid-day that splash brilliant reds, oranges, yellow and even purple colors over the northern skies. The colors come from sunrays below the horizon that still play off clouds.
State broadcaster NRK reported that the season lasts from November 27 until January 15 in Tromsø, but varies from place to place. The North Cape’s “dark” season started on November 20, while in Harstad, farther south, the sun won’t disappear until December 2.
Norway’s longest mørketiden is on the Arctic islands of Svalbard, where the sun sunk below the horizon on October 26 and won’t reappear in the town of Longyearbyen until March 8.
For more photos from NRK, click here (external link).