Sun  Events  in  Longyearbyen

Please see the Sun Diagram for a chart illustrating this


Sun Event

29 January Twilight begins, with the sun no more than 6 degrees below horizon at highest point in South
16 February Sun first appears above horizon around mid-day in the South (except it's not seen in Longyearbyen for another three weeks due to the high mountains in the South!
8 March 'Soldagen' or Sun Day, when the sun is considered to officially return to LYB - on this day it reaches the old hospital steps near the church (if there are no clouds!)  The year the sundial was installed it returned a day early due to the leap year.  The side of the valley the sundial is on gets more sun earlier and later than other locations in town. The sun hides behind Platafjellet in the afternoons from about 3.40 pm until 8 pm (summertime) at the beginning of the sunny period.

Spring Equinox - around 20/21 March

18 April First night the sun doesn't set ie the midnight sun period starts.
Approx 26 April Midnight sun reaches the dial (the week's delay is due to Forkastningsfjellet on the other side of Adventdalen!).
Approx 21-23 June Midsummer, or summer solstice - up here this is not the longest day, but the day where the sun is at its highest altitude - in this case 35 degrees at midday and 12 degrees at midnight
Approx 16 August Last night sun's rays reach the dial at midnight
23 August Last night the sun doesn't set ie the midnight sun period ends.

Autumn Equinox - around 22/23 September

Approx 7 October Suns rays leave Longyearbyen and the sundial has a long sleep, except on clear moonlit nights!
26 October Sun doesn't rise above the horizon any more (beginning of Polar Night and start of diminishing twilight period)
14 November End of twilight period (sun is more than 6 degrees beneath horizon)