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Marjorie
2004-Feb-14, 05:48 PM
Does anyone here live far enough north to have darkness 24 hours a day in the winter? I'm wondering what stars you can see during the hours that are daylight for the rest of us.

In the winter I see summer stars such as Vega in the early morning before sunrise? Do you see them for the rest of what I would call the day?

Sorry, the first question mark was supposed to be a period.

starnut
2004-Feb-14, 10:46 PM
Marjorie, I lived pretty far north for a while. Rather than try to enumerate the stars I found a prety good explanation here. http://www.astronomynotes.com/nakedeye/s4.htm

Russ
2004-Feb-14, 11:29 PM
While I do not live north of the arctic circle, I have been there during times of 24 hour darkness. Prudoe Bay, North Slope of Alaska. The thing I noticed was that whatever you could see, you had to see between the sworls and festoons of the aurora boriallis. The other thing I noticed was that you had about 30 seconds to do it before you had to dash back in doors before you'd freeeeeeeeeeezzzzzzzzzzeeee SOLID. An ambient temp of -60 F + -30 F wind chill, really trashes your motivation to stargaze.

To quickly answer your specific question, looking south toward North America during NA's night, I could see everything north of Orion's belt. Looking "north" toward Russia (more or less) you could see high northern "summer constellations. Sorry I can't be more specific as, up there, the aurora is something you have to see to believe. Usually, all you get are quick glimpses of stars, planets, etc.

To anticipate your next question, in the summer, when it's light 24/7, you can see the Sun, Moon, Venus and (I assume when positioning is right) Mercury. On the North Slope, when I was there, it never got darker than late afternoon as seen in the lower 48.

An observation unrelated to astronomy. Both situations, dark/light 24/7, really screwed with my internal biological clock. One's circadian I think it's called. Up there they run on the 24 hour clock ( 3pm is 1500) and even though I knew when it was supposed to be light/dark I was still exhausted and disoriented all of the time. The locals tell me you get used to it after about a month, but I never got used to it. :roll: ](*,)

Hale_Bopp
2004-Feb-15, 05:04 AM
Well, if you went to the extreme of the north pole, you would see the same stars all the time pretty much. All stars would be circumpolar and never set. You would see stars on the celestial equator on your horizon.

Assuming you weren't quite at the north pole, you would see some stars rise and set. I just fired up Starry Night and set my location to 80 degrees north and checked out what happens in mid-December. The base or Orion, for example, just barely clears the southern horizon. When Orion is due north, only the raised club is visible (I think its a club he is supposed to have above his head). That should give you some idea of the range of objects visible at that latitude.

Rob

Maksutov
2004-Feb-15, 12:55 PM
Does anyone here live far enough north to have darkness 24 hours a day in the winter? I'm wondering what stars you can see during the hours that are daylight for the rest of us.

In the winter I see summer stars such as Vega in the early morning before sunrise? Do you see them for the rest of what I would call the day?

Sorry, the first question mark was supposed to be a period.

Get an astronomy or planetarium program for your computer, dial in the location coordinates for 71.3 N 156.8 W (Barrow, Alaska), and see for yourself! :wink:

Marjorie
2004-Feb-15, 10:26 PM
Thanks to all of you for answering my question. I'll check out the website. I've taken a look at it but I think it may require quite a lot of study.

I use the Sky and Telescope online star chart for my own location. It's based on entering your postal code and then choosing between Canada or the U.S. That's the easiest way to get into it.

Does anyone know a postal code for the Arctic circle? I could put that in and then pick a daylight hour for the time. It would give me a complete star chart for that location.

starnut
2004-Feb-15, 10:51 PM
99752 is the zip code for Kotzebue, just a little north of the artic circle.

Kaptain K
2004-Feb-16, 04:25 AM
Barrow, Alaska. Zip code: 99723

The Supreme Canuck
2004-Feb-16, 04:37 AM
You want to see the North? Get a ticket here (http://www.img.forces.gc.ca/adm_im/organization/CFIOG/CFS_Alert/index_e.htm). I'm sure they'd appreciate the company.

Charlie in Dayton
2004-Feb-16, 07:40 AM
Yes, people do live far enough above the Arctic Circle that there's daylight/dark 24/7 depending on the time of the year. Anything above 66 2/3 degrees or so qualifies.
http://www.unavowed.net/charlie/VariousesForTheWeb/ThuleMap.jpg

Wasn't up there after 'sunset', so I can't comment on what stars you see...
http://www.unavowed.net/charlie/VariousesForTheWeb/ThuleAFB.jpg
This shot was a Polaroid picture taken approximately 4AM local time with no flash -- the camera was the cheapo model they sold for vacationers etc. No changeable shutter speed, just focus and hit it. For those who have some experience with Polaroid photography in low light, this ought to tell you how bright it was. By the way, that's my bus parked in the foreground. Nothing like a working vacation at Uncle Sugar's expense...

SeanF
2004-Feb-16, 03:33 PM
Um, nobody commented on the aspect of this question that immediately caught my eye.

Marjorie, you do realize that there are no stars that you can never see because they're only up during daylight, aren't you? The stars you see at midnight in June are 180 away from the stars you see at midnight in December.

So, the stars that people at the North Pole see right now that you can't because of the sun will be visible to you at night in a few months.

Marjorie
2004-Feb-17, 05:46 PM
SeanF, I do realize that today's daytime sky is the night sky a few months from now. That was the whole point of my original post. At 2 p.m. I can't see stars because the sun is up, and I wondered if a person at the Arctic circle could see the summer stars at the same time because he lives in an area where the sun does not rise at all in the winter.

The reverse would be true n June. On June 21 the sky must be full of winter stars that most people do not see because the sun is shining, but what about people who live in the south polar regions?

Thanks for the zip codes. I'll try them on the Sky and Telescope online chart.

Kaptain K
2004-Feb-17, 08:26 PM
People north of the arctic circle can't see any stars in the summer, because the sun never sets.

SeanF
2004-Feb-17, 08:39 PM
SeanF, I do realize that today's daytime sky is the night sky a few months from now. That was the whole point of my original post. At 2 p.m. I can't see stars because the sun is up, and I wondered if a person at the Arctic circle could see the summer stars at the same time because he lives in an area where the sun does not rise at all in the winter.

The reverse would be true n June. On June 21 the sky must be full of winter stars that most people do not see because the sun is shining, but what about people who live in the south polar regions?

Thanks for the zip codes. I'll try them on the Sky and Telescope online chart.

Okay, just wanted to clarify. :)

Now, people near the north pole don't get to see what we'd call "winter stars" in the summer. As Kaptain K pointed out, in summer, it's 24 hours of daylight way up there, so they don't see any stars. They do, however, get to see our "summer stars" in the winter when they get 24 hours of darkness.

However, they don't see all of them! Every night, there are stars that we can see in the southern part of the sky that North Pole denizens would never see, because the stars are too far south. Over the course of an entire year, you are able to see more than half the stars in the sky. At the equater, over the course of an entire year, you'd have opportunities to see every star in the sky (at least, every star bright enough). At the North or South Pole, you're limited to the same half the stars, no matter what time of year it is.

So, I guess it's a give-and-take. :D

Marjorie
2004-Feb-18, 07:21 PM
Thanks for the clarification. I think that pretty well answers my question.

Obviously the southern latitudes are better places for a northern hemisphere person to do stargazing. I don't mean southern hemisphere when I say "southern" I mean nearer the equator. Better weather, better sky.

I'll bet the stars are gorgeous right now in the Caribbean countries!