Midsummer in Antarctica

Crepuscular rays of late afternoon sun shining through a cloud layer over grounded icebergs
Crepuscular rays of late afternoon sun shining through a cloud layer over grounded icebergs (Photo: Ian Phillips)
A Hägglunds and polar pyramid tent in the glow of the solar halo at Dome Summit South, Law DomeParhelion or sun dogs on the Antarctic horizon. Sun dogs are created by light interacting with ice crystals in the atmosphere. Sun dogs typically appear as two subtly coloured patches of light to the left and right of the Sun, approximately 22° distant and at the same elevation above the horizon as the Sun. Solar halo dwarfing the tents at the Aurora Basin North ice core drilling campsite

21st December 2017

The fight is on for a room without a view at Australia’s Antarctic stations as the midsummer sun bathes most of the continent in 24 hour sunlight.

During today’s summer solstice, or midsummer, the sun is at its highest point in the Southern Hemisphere sky.

At this time in the Earth’s orbit, the tilt of the South Pole towards the sun is at its maximum.

As a result, for several weeks between December and January, expeditioners at Casey, Davis and Mawson research stations will not experience a sunrise or sunset.

It’s the only time of year that station accommodation buildings with windowless bedrooms are in high demand!

More information

Antarctic sunlight hours