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Goodnight, Barrow

Barrow, Alaska, has the distinction of being the northernmost town in the United States. As it sits above the Arctic Circle, the sun does not rise during a two-month period around the winter solstice. On Friday, the sun set for the final time on Barrow.

At 1:31 p.m. Friday the sun set in Barrow for the last time. Ever.

Or at least, it set for the last time while the city is named Barrow. The sun won't rise again until 1:17 p.m. Jan. 22, 2017, when the city will be operating under its new name, Utqiaġvik.

The name change will take effect Dec. 1. In October, residents of Barrow voted narrowly in favor of changing the name. Utqiaġvik is an Inupiaq word that means a place for gathering wild roots. It has long been used to describe the greater Barrow community.

For the next two months, the skies may get a little lighter during midday when the sun nears the horizon, but residents won't see the sun itself. Utqiaġvik is not a new name, but a return to the community's traditional name used before explorer Frederick William Beechey named the town Barrow in 1825. You can hear the pronunciation of Utqiaġvik here. -via Metafilter

(Image credit: UAF Webcam)

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