Utqiaġvik sees its last sunset of 2019

 The sunrise in Utqiagvik on Nov. 18, 2019 (Photo courtesy of Steve Virg-In)
The sunrise in Utqiagvik on Nov. 18, 2019 (Photo courtesy of Steve Virg-In) (KTUU)
Published: Nov. 18, 2019 at 1:26 PM AKST
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The darkness is coming.

On Monday, Nov. 18, Utqiaġvik, formerly known as Barrow, will see its last sunset until Jan. 23.

To save you the math, that's 66 days of "polar night" which is the opposite of the "midnight sun."

The sun peeks above the horizon of Spy Island north of Prudhoe Bay. The area, located to the east and south of Utqiaġvik, will lose daylight on Nov. 23. (Photo courtesy David Warhus.)

To get specific, the sun is expected to go down at 1:49 p.m. Nov. 18. and rise at around 1:09 p.m. on Jan. 23 according to the National Weather Service.

If you're looking for the exact second of the sunset, you'll be out of luck. Most predictions are to the nearest minute since sunrise and sunset are partially determined by the terrain and atmospheric conditions.

Some astronomers say that the times of actual sunrise and sunset

due to the specific weather at the location.

And what actually qualifies as a sunrise? It's a fairly exact definition. The US Naval Observatory defines it as follows:

In other words, if even a sliver of sun is visible on the horizon, the sun is considered to have risen.

When a location experiences 24-hours of with no sunrise, it enters "polar night," which is the opposite of the midnight sun. It’s the time when the sun’s disk never rises above the horizon.

A number of other locations in Alaska will move into polar night in the next couple of weeks.

Whaling crew on their way home before the last sunset of the year. (Photo courtesy of Jesse Darling)
KTUU's Tracy Sinclare also provided information used in this article. Copyright 2019 KTUU. All Rights Reserved.