Even though there are numerous nations in the Arctic Circle which experience the midnight sun, Norway is the only one known as the land of the midnight sun. The Norwegians living in the northern parts of Norway experience the midnight sun during summer for almost two months annually. The northern parts of Norway lie at latitude over 66° north of the Arctic Circle.
What is the midnight sun phenomenon?
The midnight sun is a unique phenomenon which is seen during the summer months on the southern parts of the Antarctic Circle or all the regions on the northern side of the Arctic Circle. Typically, the sun reaches its peak in the summer months every year. During these specific months all the regions around the Northern side of the Arctic Circle including Norway experience 24hour of sunlight.
The midnight sun is visible from about 55miles outside the Arctic Circle. The visibility and intensity of the midnight sun vary from one place to the other. Some of the factors which affect the intensity of the sun during the summer solstice include proximity to the earth poles and presence of clouds and fogs. Places near the Arctic Circle experience more days with midnight sun and the duration of the midnight sun decreases the further you are from the polar circle.
The people living in places crossed by the Arctic Circle are the only ones who experience this phenomenon. Some of the countries which experience the midnight sun include Alaska, Russia, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Iceland and various territories including Nunavut, Northwest, and Canadian Yukon territories.
Why is Norway known as the land of Midnight sun?
In Norway, the sun never sets entirely below the horizon in various cities including Tromso city from late May to July. During these months the people living in Tromso city enjoy the midnight sun. The Arctic Circle cuts Norway at Saltfjellet and separate Helgeland from the north side of the county of Nordland, therefore half of the county is on the northern parts of the Arctic Circle. The total size of the county on the Arctic Circle is about 37,000 sq mi. With a population of over 393,000 people, this is the most populous arctic area on earth.
In summer these regions located on the northern side of the Arctic Circle have perpetual daylights. These regions experience over 20 hours of the sun during these two months. In winter these areas experience an extended period of darkness. There are other countries which experience the midnight sun, and the fact that Norway is known as the land of the midnight sun is a marketing stunt which has helped promote the Norwegian tourism industry.
In Svalbard archipelago, the midnight sun starts on April 20 and ends on August 22 while in cape Nordkinn this midnight sun is seen from May 14 to July 29. Some regions of northern Norway are on the southern part of the Arctic Circle; therefore they do not enjoy the sun at night. These places do enjoy daylight throughout the night in the two months of mid-summer accompanied by some beautiful colors of a sunset on the north.