The sun has returned to Sweden’s northernmost towns
File photo of the year's first sunrise in Jukkasjärvi: Asaf Kliger/imagebank.sweden.se
Most of Sweden is currently grappling with below zero temperatures and bracing for strong winds, but in the north of the country there's reason to celebrate with the sun appearing above the horizon this week for the first time in 2019.
In Kiruna, the country's northernmost city, the sun set on December 10th, 2018, marking the start of the polar night.
But the sun has slowly made a reappearance, with its first official sunrise of the year on January 2nd although it was only two days later that it was visible above the horizon. On January 10th, it rose at 10.33 before setting at 1pm.
Even further north at Riksgränsen, a ski resort on Sweden's mountainous northwestern border, the sun first rose on January 7th, when it was up between 11:36am and 12:11.
In Karesuando, Sweden's northernmost church town, the sun wasn't seen until January 7th, when its 301 residents had just 17 minutes of sunlight. On January 10th, the sun was set to rise at 10:50am and set less than two hours later at 12:25.
But at Sweden's most northernmost point, Treriksröset (Three-Country Cairn) where the international borders of Finland, Norway and Sweden meet, polar night continues after the sun last set there in late November. There, the year's first official sunrise and daytime will take place on Saturday.
Although polar night means that the sun is below the horizon for all 24 hours of the day, snow, reflected light and moonlight prevent total darkness.