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Ain’t Geology Trippy?

, , , , , | Learning | May 21, 2022

I studied at a university north of the Arctic Circle. That means that the sun never sets during the summer and never rises in the winter. It also means that when it’s dark outside, the inhabitants can quite frequently get Northern Lights (aurora borealis). This is a beautiful spectacle — nature’s own light show colouring the sky.

One evening in August, I was walking my dog around a lake near the university housing estate. It was very late, but the sun never sets, so it was still bright as day. On a bench near the path, there were a couple of foreign exchange students sitting, looking up and waiting. They both spoke English with a heavy foreign accent, so I really can’t blame them too much for not knowing the details about this, but it was funny nonetheless. As I passed by, one of them asked me:

Student: “Excuse me. Do you know when we can see the Northern Lights?”

Me: “Ehm… Yes. Yes, I do. They are visible when it’s dark outside. Which is… a few months from now.”

They were laughing as they walked back to their dorms. I wonder how long they would have waited before giving up.

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