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Sun disappears until January in far northern Finland

Finland’s far north has slipped into the deep winter state known in Finland as "kaamos" and elsewhere as the period of polar nights. The sun was last seen fleetingly above the horizon for little more than half an hour on Thursday. It will next put in an appearance in mid-January.

Hämärä talvimaisema.
The brooding winter landscape typical of polar nights. Image: Pentti Kallinen / Yle

The last sighting of the sun above the horizon in Utsjoki, northern Finland was at 12.17pm on Thursday, November 26, according to the time trackers at the Helsinki University Almanac Office.

November is typically the time when the polar nights or "kaamos" descend on northernmost locations. During that time the sun remains below the horizon, spawning an extended period of what appears to the uninitiated to be endless nights.

Up north, by November there’s sufficient snow cover to lend some light to the surroundings. Residents and visitors also revel in the broad selection of winter activities on offer, such as cross-country or downhill skiing, and nature treks with reindeer or huskies.

Perfect for borealis hunting

On the bright side, there’s no better time to witness the natural marvel that are the Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis – and the polar nights attract plenty of borealis hunters to the arctic regions.

According to the Time and Date calendar service, the next time the residents of Utsjoki will see the sun rise will be on January 17, 2016.

At that time the heavenly orb will rouse from its winter slumber at 11.56am, before drifting back below the horizon less than one hour later at 12.47pm.

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