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The sun has set on 2020 in this Alaskan town. 'Polar night' brings 66 days of near-darkness in America's northernmost town.

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 4 days ago Jessica Flores, USA TODAY
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The sun set at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in the United States' northernmost town. And it won't rise again for another 66 days in Utqiaġvik, Alaska.

By then it'll be 2021, Joe Biden will be president and the U.S. may have an available COVID-19 vaccine.

But for this Alaskan town, the polar night is a normal phenomenon that happens every year. The National Weather Service in Fairbanks on Wednesday said the sun will not rise again until Jan. 23 in Utqiaġvik, formerly known as Barrow. 

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Some Alaskans prepare by taking Vitamin D supplements or relying on a "happy light," which mimics daylight, Carson Frank, an associate at the University of Alaska Museum of the North told USA TODAY on Wednesday during a phone interview.

a wooden bench sitting next to a body of water: An arch made of a whale jaw sits on a beach in the Alaskan town of Utqiaġvik in this Aug. 12, 2005, file photo. The northernmost community in the U.S. won't see the sun again until Jan. 23, 2021. © Al Grillo, AP An arch made of a whale jaw sits on a beach in the Alaskan town of Utqiaġvik in this Aug. 12, 2005, file photo. The northernmost community in the U.S. won't see the sun again until Jan. 23, 2021.

The polar night happens each winter because of the tilt of the Earth's axis and "none of the Sun's disc is visible above the horizon at all. It only happens within the polar circles," according to timeanddate.com.

But there won't be complete darkness, according to meteorologist Danielle Banks of The Weather Channel.

"There are a few hours each day with enough light to see, but the folks who live here have technically seen their last sunset until 2021," she said.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: The sun has set on 2020 in this Alaskan town. 'Polar night' brings 66 days of near-darkness in America's northernmost town.

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