# The Naked Scientists Forum

### Author Topic: 6 months of sun?  (Read 11494 times)

#### diegostation

• Jr. Member
• Posts: 18
##### 6 months of sun?
« on: 09/05/2005 18:10:04 »
Can someone explain why in some places of earth there are 6 months of sun and then 6 months of night in a year? I think it is related to earth's axis not being at a 90 degrees position to earth's traslation movement...

#### Tronix

• Full Member
• Posts: 59
##### Re: 6 months of sun?
« Reply #1 on: 09/05/2005 19:09:32 »
right-oh, it does have something to do with the axis. point your hand diagonally finger pointing up (point it to theleft). Now put your hand on the left side of your computer. Now slowly rotate it to the right side with out moving your finger or changing the direction its pointing. now it should point (roughly) at your computer.

the angle of your finger represents the earth axis and where it points, and your fingertip is, say, the north pole. The computer is the sun, and moving your finger is the rotation of the earth. When its at the left, the northpole is not facing the sun, therefore at best it gets like a permanet sunset. As it does its yearly revolution, the axis doesnt budge (like your finger), and when earth it gets to the right side of the sun (when your diagonally pointing finger gets to the right side of the computer), it gets the full rays of the sun. See how it works yet?

Now, if your in the united states, your position, roates a greater circumference than say a home on the north pole, so we actually get sunrise and sunset. but becuase of the axis, the north pole gets sun or no sun, basically regardless of how much you turn it. Its alot simpler if you see a physical visual example. Put a dot with a magic marker on your finger tip and another on the inside of your knuckle and twist your wrist. The one on your finger tip probably wont point at the sun unless your hand is on the right side, while the point on the inside of your knuckle will (or would if your could twist your hand 360 degress). On the other side of the comptuer/sun though, twist your hand all you like but your fingertip dot (represnenting a location on the north pole) will likely still get sunlight.

Finally, moving your hand from one side of the computer to the other represnts about six months. Its not exactly 6 months of total night then suddenly high noon for 6 months. its more like it takes six months for the sun to travel across the sky and six months to come back after it sets. at least thats what makes sense to me. Theorectiacally means if you want to tell time by the sun, you just memorize its position on the horizon and measure how much it moves to the right (i think its to the right)

well i hope that answers your question in simple terms. if not, maybe someone else can simplify it. and if your treking though north alaska, tell time with a watch if you can.

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#### neilep

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##### Re: 6 months of sun?
« Reply #2 on: 09/05/2005 20:03:21 »
Does this help at all ?

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#### simeonie

• Sr. Member
• Posts: 351
##### Re: 6 months of sun?
« Reply #3 on: 09/05/2005 21:25:40 »
The country that you get 6months of sun and 6 months of night is Iceland

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#### daveshorts

• Neilep Level Member
• Posts: 2583
• Physics, Experiments
##### Re: 6 months of sun?
« Reply #4 on: 09/05/2005 21:31:09 »
Iceland is north of the arctic circle which means that the sun deosn't set, and doesn't rise for at least one night/day a year.  The only places that actually have 6months of day and night are the N and S pole. If you think about what is happening at an equinox everywhere apart from the poles must go through a day and a night...

#### simeonie

• Sr. Member
• Posts: 351
##### Re: 6 months of sun?
« Reply #5 on: 10/05/2005 16:26:55 »
Oh right cool! Thanks Daveshorts

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#### The Naked Scientists Forum

##### Re: 6 months of sun?
« Reply #5 on: 10/05/2005 16:26:55 »

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