Polar Sun
The Sun makes its way across the sky low and parallel to the horizon at the North Pole


There are some pretty amazing things to see above the Arctic Circle, and I discussed many of the region’s unique aspects in various journals throughout the expedition. Some of these incredible phenomena translate well to video, so in this installment of GEOTRACES Cinema I’ll link to a few movies that would be impossible to make in lower latitudes.

I’ll start with a time lapse I made of the Sun as we were stopped for a sampling station at the North Pole. The video covers about 6.5 hours of the Sun’s path low on the horizon on 6 September. Note that it doesn’t discernibly get higher or lower in the sky- technically it is slowly setting but would be above the horizon for about two more weeks, until the autumnal equinox. You'll also see a nice 22° Halo develop in the clouds around the Sun in the second part of the video:

I had a neat request from Ms. Steiner’s classes to test a compass out on the ice when we were near the Magnetic North Pole. As you might guess, a compass isn’t the greatest navigational tool when you are that far north:

A major cruise highlight for everyone was the chance to see intense displays of Aurora Borealis. On two of the best nights I rigged my time lapse camera to give you a taste of the spectacular, ever-changing light show. The first begins at dusk on 5 October and continues for most of the night, and the second was filmed a couple nights later:

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53° F