Tag Archives: sunrise

Midnight sun in Antarctica

Antarctic sun over sea ice.
Antarctic sun over sea ice. © Ryan Rowe / ryanrowe.com

In spring, the Antarctic sun lays low in the sky over the Southern Ocean. The sea ice is breaking up with the arrival of warmer temperatures. At this time of year in Antarctica the sun never really sets so there is about 23 hours of daylight and 1 hour of twilight. It makes it difficult to sleep, but who would want to with views like this?

Sun beams on ice floes

Antarctica in late spring. The sea ice is slowly breaking up into pieces as the temperature warms to a balmy 32 deg F, 0 deg C or higher during the day (saltwater freezes at a slightly lower temperature). This creates ideal conditions for killer whales to hunt seals by wave-washing them from their perch on an ice floe into the water where they are quickly gobbled up. During this time of year, the sun “sets” at about 11pm at night and rises again at 2:30am. But it never really goes away and darkness never really sets in – instead you’ll have a glow of pink and orange light cast over magnificent seascapes.

Sun beams over ice floes near Lemaire Channel, Antarctica