Land of the Bouncing Sun

land of the bouncing sun

Japan is known as the “land of the rising sun” (a phrase derived from how the characters in the Japanese name mean “sun-origin) but did you know there were places you could go where the Sun doesn’t appear to rise in the east and set in the west but instead appears to bounce?

As some people know, if you go far enough north the sun doesn’t go away for much of the summer months.  In fact, if you go up towards the Arctic Circle there is a period of about 6 months where the Sun never goes away.  Of course, the opposite is also true for other parts of the year.  There are also countries that border this Arctic Circle.  Some people call these areas the “land of the midnight sun” because in Summer the Sun can be seen past midnight.  Some of these areas include the northernmost parts of Canada, Greenland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Russia, Alaska and Iceland.

This phenomenon occurs because the Earth is tilted on an axis by 23 degrees.   So at the northern and sourthern-most poles the Sun only sets once a year.

So if you really love to be in the Sun you might want to consider taking a vacation to Svalbard, Norway.  The Sun doesn’t set there between April 19 to August 23.

But there is a common misconception about this phenomenon.  Some people think that the sun appears to be in one position all day long.  Actually, the Sun appears to bounce up and down throughout the days, never quite disappearing below the horizon.

Check out the time-lapse video below on how the Sun appears to bounce up and down in the sky.  The video was taken over a week and sped up to 1 second per day.

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