Wildlife and environment
Polar nights begin in Murmansk
© RIA Novosti. Valeriy Shustov

Polar nights begin in Murmansk

Polar nights have begun in the city of Murmansk. For 40 days, the sun will not rise above the horizon.

"Polar nights can be experienced at Murmansk's latitude from December 2 to January 11," TASS quotes the Murmansk Hydrometeorological Center as saying.

Polar nights are a natural phenomenon that occurs at latitudes to the north of the polar circle. In northwestern Russia, the circle passes through the southern part of the Kola Peninsula and part of Karelia. At Murmansk's latitude, polar nights last about 40 days, while the phenomenon lasts half a year at the North Pole. The opposite phenomenon, polar days, occur during the summer when the sun does not set for the same period of time.

The end of polar nights is traditionally a red letter day in Murmansk. For 10 years city residents have been gathering for an event called the First Sunrise, on January 11, at the city's highest point, Solnechnaya Gorka (Sunny Hill), to get a first glimpse of the sun.