Thursday, September 09, 2010

Polar circle on the move

(Source: VG, August 16th 2010) Passed this monument lately? Did you think it marked the exact spot of the Polar Circle? Sorry pal - you're wrong!! A clever guy has found that the present Polar circle is located 1 kilometer or 6 miles north of today's Polar Circle Centre.

The Polar Circle Centre at Saltfjellet in Nordland County is a main tourist attraction as it marks the official frontier of the polar circle. The region above it will experience at least one 24 hour period when the sun is continuously above the horizon and at least one 24 hour period when the sun is continuously below the horizon annually, hence the name "Land of the Midnight Sun".

In Norway the polar circle cross the municipalities of Træna, Lurøy, Rødøy og Rana.

Now, however, the astrophysicist Oddgeir Christiansen has found that the circle wanders northwards by 14 meters or 42 feet every year, leaving the monument 1 kilometer south of the Circle it now proudly marks.

This is indeed bad news for those of you that drove up to the centre and then drove back. You were never in the land of the midnight sun after all.

One meager consolation that the northbound trend eventually will turn and the Polar Circle will return to the location of the Centre - in 13000 years!

Stories from the Land of the Midnight Sun on Enjoy Food & Travel

View Northern Norway On Enjoy Food & Travel in a larger map

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