Sunday, April 20, 2008

Disturbing Landmark

JoeLast night we crossed a threshold of our sojourn in Sweden: the end of darkness. Last night, for the first time this year, true darkness never came to Uppsala, leaving us instead with a night-long astronomical twilight. Astronomical twilight is the darkest of the three degrees of twilight, the lightest being civil twilight, with nautical twilight falling between the two. What does this mean for us? Well, it's still getting pretty dark at night, although the nights are getting shorter fast. But in a few weeks we'll see the end of astronomical twilight for the spring, and then by June, with the sun rising at 3:30, we'll see only 3 hours of nautical twilight in the middle of the night, culminating in a week where a few hours of civil twilight will have to pass for "night".

I think I'm glad I finished sewing the bedroom curtains this week. Between the blinds and two layers of curtains, the bedroom is pretty dark at night now, and can be made tolerably dim at mid-day. So with sleep masks, it may be enough to see us through the summer. Oh, and a heavy cloth to cover Jennifer's latest acquisition: the world's brightest alarm clock.

I'll put a chart of our sunrise times on this page in the next couple of days, but if you're curious in the meantime I wrote a little web sun rise and set graphing page. It still needs a bit of polish, but it's functional as is.

The Swedish word for the day is gardiner.

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