Midnight Sun, North Cape, Norway

Special Collections > Keystone Slides
tiff scanned file from original glass slide
Here you are within 20 degrees of the North Pole. North Cape is generally called the farthest northern point of Europe. There is one other European headland slightly farther north-the Nordkyn. But North Cape is nearly 4 degrees north of the Arctic Circle. In mid-summer the sun never sets at North Cape. It wheels about in a great circle in the heavens and gets only as near the horizon as you see here. In the longest days of our year north of the Equator, it is fully 3 or 4 times its own diameter above the skyline about midnight. It actually is lowest at 15 minutes after 11 o'clock P. M., at North Cape. Then it slowly rises in its circuit. Here are 24 hours of sunshine! Can you explain with the globe why the sun does not set in mid-summer at North Cape? The North Cape itself is the bold headland of the island of Magerö. It is over 1000 feet high, and is of slate. Its cliffs are cut with deep furrows. Its top is reached by climbing a path over moss and stones and through swampy ground. The view toward the east, north, and west is over the open sea. To the south lies a desolate plain of snow and swamp. Here one can stand in a world different from any he has known before. The mysteries of the Arctic land are all about him. The sharp sting of the wind in his face reminds him that he is where winter is always. On top of the Cape is a granite column put up in honor of a visit of King Oscar II, in 1873. Longfellow describes North Cape in this way: And then uprose before me,
Upon the water's edge,
The huge and haggard shape
Of that unknown North Cape,
Whose form is like a wedge. Keystone ID: 15774 Note: All titles, descriptions, and location coordinates are from the original Keystone Slide documentation as supplied by the Keystone View Company. No text has been edited or changed.
Copyright by the Keystone View Company. The original slides are housed in McConnell Library's Special Collections.