Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Eclipse of the Midnight Sun

For most of us, the idea of a solar eclipse at midnight would sound impossible. However, to those living in northern Norway, Sweden and Finland a solar eclipse at midnight is not only a possibility, it is an event set to occur tonight.

At midnight, Norwegians will be treated to their first midnight solar eclipse since 2000. Rarer still is the depth of the eclipse, at almost 50%; tonight’s eclipse will not be surpassed until 2084.

In the Land of the Midnight Sun, spectacular displays of light phenomena aren’t uncommon. Recently, Norwegian artist Terje Sørgjerd captured one of these light displays with an incredible time-lapse film created in the Lofoten Islands from late April to mid May. Terje describes what he calls “Arctic Light” on his page by saying, “My favorite natural phenomenon is one I do not even know the name of, even after talking to meteorologists and astrophysicists I am none the wiser. What I am talking about I have decided to call The Arctic Light and it is a natural phenomenon occurring 2-4 weeks before you can see the Midnight Sun. The Sunset and Sunrise are connected in one magnificent show of color and light lasting from 8 to 12 hours. The sun is barely going below the horizon before coming up again. This is the most colorful light that I know, and the main reason I have been going up there for the last 4 years, at the exact same time of year, to photograph.”

For those of us who won’t be able to experience the eclipse firsthand, visit at 5:00 P.M. CST, Knut Joergen Roed Oedegaard, astrophysicist with the Norwegian Centre for Science Education in Oslo, will be documenting the eclipse.

Update: Interested in taking a closer look at last night's midnight solar eclipse? Check out these fantastic photo submissions from Norway, Russia, China and Finland. You can also click here to see reader submitted eclipse photos on Enjoy!

The Arctic Light from TSO Photography on Vimeo.

No comments: