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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Shifting Rhythm with Axis

It is 8:15 a.m. in Nome now as I write this from my desk at 12:15 p.m. in Kentucky.  The sun hasn't yet risen there.  My Father paused to yawn while on the phone with me a while ago.   Usually much earlier to rise, his circadian rhythm is quite obviously effected by the Earth's tilt in axis these days.  Just a reminder, when our team arrived in Nome (early in June), the days were exceptionally long (about two hours of darkness then).

 Circadian Rhythm

At the military and weather station located at 82°30′05″N and 62°20′20″W, on the northern tip of Ellesmere Island, Canada (about 450 nautical miles or 830 km from the North Pole), the sun begins to peek above the horizon for minutes per day at the end of February.  Each day it climbs higher and stays up longer.  By March 21rst, the sun is up for over 12 hours. On April 6th, the sun rises at 5:22 a.m. and remains above the horizon until it sets below the horizon again on September 21rst at 3:35 a.m.   By October 13th, the sun is above the horizon for only 1 hour 30 minutes and on October 14 it does not rise above the horizon at all. It remains below the horizon until it rises again on February 27th.

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