Sunrise, sunset… an arctic time lapse video

By Phil Plait | June 10, 2011 10:54 am

I know this isn’t strictly astronomy, but it’s a lovely time lapse video of sunrises and sunsets in the arctic… and since the Earth is tilted, in the summer the Sun skims just below the horizon as it circles the sky. So hey, I guess it is astronomy related!

You can really see this effect well starting at 1:06 into the video; the Sun sets at a very low angle to the ground, and comes right back up. The sky never gets completely dark.

The video was shot by a man who calls himself Mr. TSO, and he has many other lovely videos on Vimeo. It’s Friday, so take some time and look. You’ll breathe just a little bit easier if you do.


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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, Cool stuff, Pretty pictures

Comments (28)

Links to this Post

  1. Southern Ocean Sky – timelapse « Mind Your Language | July 20, 2011
  1. The sun comes up, the sun goes down. Never a miscommunication.

    I said the sun goes DOWN! Hey, why isn’t it dark here?

    ;)

  2. Terje Sorgerd is his name, he’s released 3 of these video’s so far, all absolutely breathtaking!

    http://goo.gl/BAaDv (Can’t wait for his next project, he’s out in Turkey to film it!) :)

  3. Pete Jackson

    Sure it’s astronomy. It’s called a grazing occultation!

  4. Bob

    what is the name of the song ?
    it is really fine

  5. Question: I thought the Earth person’s observation of a sunset was an illusion caused by the refractive properties of the atmosphere and at the point of sunset, the actual sun was about a sun’s diameter lower than it appears. If this is so, is it true that the sun actually *does* set in summer time at the poles?

    I’m not trying to be picky-schmicky, I’m genuinely asking :)

  6. Craig

    Fantastic!

    So much to see, I watched this ten times. The time lapses especially of the clouds developing and dissipating are fascinating to this meteorologist. Also do not forget the arctic tundra and vegetation scenery as well. Finally the classical piano just completes the mood.

    Oh, and yes, the Northern Hemisphere summer solstice is upcoming during June 21 at 17:16 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).

  7. PetersCreek

    Beautiful video. Even though we’re a few degrees south of the Arctic Circle here in the Anchorage area, we still experience a bit of this. In the weeks before and after the Summer Solstice, our skies won’t get completely dark but rather, will dim to twilight levels before the Sun rises again.

  8. Ellen

    Breathtaking video, made even more beautiful by the music. Does anyone know what the piece is called?

  9. Joel

    Amazing stuff.

    @4. Bob & 8. Ellen – re. the music. On his vimeo page, he says of the vid “I asked the very talented Marika Takeuchi to specifically compose and perform a song for this movie, and what she came up with is absolutely remarkable. Thank you very much Marika!”

    Ms Takeuchi has a facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Marika-Takeuchi/119736281425652?sk=wall

  10. Pete Jackson

    @4,8: As he says on his web page: ” I asked the very talented Marika Takeuchi to specifically compose and perform a song for this movie, and what she came up with is absolutely remarkable. Thank you very much Marika!” That leaves the question of whether the music has a name.

  11. Joel

    @10 Pete – looking at her facebook page, it just seems to be called “The Arctic Light”, same as the video.

  12. Lance

    It just goes to prove that the sun rises and sets in the south.

  13. Joseph G

    When I watch these beautiful things, I get an image in my head, of a young person, hundreds of years hence, born on an asteroid colony or generation ship, bored, perhaps, idly shuffling through ancient archives, and coming across these. And I can imagine her shaking her head in amazement, and wondering why her people had ever chosen to leave such a wondrous place.
    I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if humans one day dream of seeing earth, yearning as profoundly as we dream of exploring the stars.
    That’s the way of people, after all – we don’t know what we’ve got ’till it’s gone.

  14. Chet

    I am going to be quite “picky” but semantically, scientifically correct: the sun, moon, stars, planets [any object beyond Clarke orbit] DOES NOT rise/set, come up/go down above/or below the horizon–it is an illusion due to Earth’s rotation! We do not live on a flat disc, stationary and unmoving.
    Think galactically. Thank you.

  15. dumb guy

    @16 Isn’t it all relative?

  16. Joel

    @16 Chet: Thankyou for elucidating that point. None of us on here quite realised that until you said it.

  17. Thanks for showing us Mr. TSO’s stuff,

    really beautiful.

  18. This is pretty cool. My sister and my father and I are flying from Anchorage up to Barrow for the solstice in a couple of weeks, which should be pretty amazing. Dad was stationed in Barrow more than fifty years ago; I suspect it will have changed somewhat since then.

  19. Messier Tidy Upper

    I know this isn’t strictly astronomy, but it’s a lovely time lapse video of sunrises and sunsets in the arctic… and since the Earth is tilted, in the summer the Sun skims just below the horizon as it circles the sky. So hey, I guess it is astronomy related!

    Sunsets, sunrises and the Earth-Sun orbital and axial relationships are *definitely* astronomy in my book BA! ;-)

    Great clip – thanks. :-)

    @1. Larian LeQuella : LOL. Good one. ;-)

  20. Messier Tidy Upper

    @1. Larian LeQuella :

    You’re referring to this :

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2011/01/31/bill-oreilly-tidal-bore/

    http://rationallythinkingoutloud.com/2011/01/31/bill-oreilly-on-the-question-where-did-it-all-come-from/

    there aren’t you?

    Wonder what Rush Limbaugh would make of what happens on Mercury :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPprOO2u1gk

    regarding double sunrises and a briefly stationary daytime star? ;-)

  21. Messier Tidy Upper

    D’oh! I meant ‘Bill O’Reilly’ when I wrote ‘Rush Limbaugh’ & have only just realised. Sorry. :-(

  22. Pasander

    Also recommended viewing for those who don’t live at northern latitudes:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTjyt-6hJQw Time lapse: the difference between summer and winter in Finland

    Helsinki is located on the southern shore of Finland so the difference between winter and summer is the least pronounced there.

  23. Chet

    #17 dumb guy – “relative”? certainly not! Thinking incorrectly is thinking or verbalizing incorrectly. The Sun is not orbiting the Earth. Now, Moon is orbiting the Earth, true, but Earth’s rotation on its axis is @ 24 hours while Moon orbits Earth in @29 days., therfore, Earth’s rotation brings Moon into view or sight and eclipses or out of view below the horizon. However, any object below Clarke orbit, like the International Space Station, an aircraft, a thunderstorm does move or rise above the horizon, overhead, and then sets or moves below the horizon.
    And, ditto, there is no UP north or DOWN south, either. Such geocentric people.

  24. abrupt

    I wonder, whats that moving at 1:53 on the lower right, on the snow… seems to be lying down and getting up several times….

  25. Gary Ansorge

    That thar is some right prudy pictures.

    14. Joseph G

    I expect anyone living in a space colony in two hundred years will have their own beautiful sunsets, perhaps while in orbit of Jupiter or Saturn.

    To paraphrase an old song “We paved paradise and put up a parking lot,,,”.
    Then we built our own worlds and they were good,,,

    Gary 7

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