Near Zenith

Twenty-two below. Fairbanks.

Photographs taken at 2 pm from the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus. The campus climbs a ridge along Fairbanks’ northern flank, and these images look southward from that vantage, back across the city’s western end and toward the distant Alaskan Range, home to Mount McKinley. The unusual, triangular glow around the sun in the first photograph is not a lens artifact; it actually appeared this way. I have also seen sunbeams as wide as the sun, like spotlights, shooting straight up from the setting sun into the upper reaches of the atmosphere. Didn’t have my camera for that one!

This should give you a pretty good idea of what daytime looks like at this time of year. The sun cuts a very shallow arc just across the tops of the trees, rising in the southeast and setting in the southwest. Today it reached zenith at about 12:45 pm.

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