Into the Darkness of Daylight

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Three Studies C Compressed 7. Sliver of Daylight 8. Speck of Darkness 9. Instant Translations to Distinct Places. The piece will explore contrasts in time, frequency, energy, etc. This phrase also implies the co-existence of two polar opposites, or finding something very different than what one was expecting. Through artificial lighting, mallard drakes have been in— duced in February and March to undergo the plumage change that usually takes place in June and July.

The effect of day-length on birds does not stop with plumage and the development of the reproductive organs, for this latter gives the urge to migrate and sing. It is now known that the length of daylight controls the migration dates of many birds. Weyer: Daylight and Darkness and summer in the Far North is a spectacle of great magnitude, it is to be hoped that further studies will be made in the near future.

All migrating birds do not respond to the length of day; some seem to be influenced by other factors, possibly temperature, food supply, or other forces too in— volved to discuss here. The animals of the Arctic have not been studied adequately in this re— spect, and a fertile field awaits investigation. From the lowest animals to the highest, in the sea and on the land, the life of the Arctic will probably show many strange adaptations to the sunlight cycle when fully studied. We know that in lower latitudes, animals can be classed according to whether they are adapted to activity in the daytime diurnal animals or during the darker hours nocturnal animals.

The diurnal group must become adapted to meet or avoid relatively high temperatures, high evaporation rate, bright light, and decreased conductivity of air for odors. The nocturnal group must become equipped for decreased temperature, high humidity, dim light, and increased conductivity of air for odors. Each group faces dis— tinct problems in the securing of food and in the escape from enemies.

An example from the temperate zone is the rattlesnake.


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Being unable to endure the high temperatures of the desert during the day, it hunts largely at night and depends not so much upon eyesight to locate its prey, as upon a pair of heat receptors, located on the head, These are so sensitive that a blindfolded rattlesnake can search out and strike a small warm-blooded animal with remarkable precision.

Weyrer: Daylight and Darkness poor sensory equipment for seeing at night and are relatively helpless. Specialization in either of these directions follows a recognizable pattern in moderate latitudes, where daylight and darkness succeed each other with what we are accustomed to think of as normal rapidity. Rest alternates with activity on a hour cycle. North of the Arctic Circle, nocturnal spec— ializations are of course valueless at the season when there is continuous daylight.

No animal depending upon nighttime prowling could survive long in this situation. Nor could the diurnal animal conceal itself by the same methods that are used when the cover of darkness can be depended upon in each hour period. At the North Pole it disappears for about days. She animals living in these high latitudes must to greater or less degree be equip— ped to forage during twilight, if they do not hibernate or live on stored food. Biologists have become increasingly aware in recent years of the import— ance of the daylight-darkness cycle in causing anatomical and physiological adjustments for rhythmic or periodic activity.

Many basic tests have been made, but few studies have been carried out on the creatures living where the midnight sun imposes the most interesting and extreme conditions. Moonlight in the Arctic. Another reason why the Arctic night is not so black as it has been painted is that the moon remains above the horizon for long periods during its bright— est phases. Also, the lack of dust in the atmosphere and the reflective power of snow-covered land make moonlight especially bright. At the poles the moon remains above the horizon continuously for about two weeks each month. Then it disappears below it for a period that is some— shorter.

It is above the horizon longer than it is below it because of atmospheric refraction and because its upper edge, rather than its center, has to disappear before it has actually set. The apparent diameter of the moon is about the same as that of the sun, as anyone can see during a total eclipse. For this reason and because our calendar is geared to the sun rather than to the moon, it is not possible to chart the cycle of moonlight as simply as we have done for sunlight.

More important to the hunter and traveler than slight variations in the length of time the moon remains above the skyline is the question of whether it is full, quarter, or new. The moon goes through its phases in the Arctic on the same schedule as elsewhere in the world. But this schedule is related to its time of rising and setting in such a way that the situation is peculiar— ly favorable for those who dwell in high latitudes.

To understand this, one must picture the relative positions of the sun, earth, and moon as shown in the accompanying drawing.

The earth travels in a curved path around the sun, rotating on its axis as it does so. This is the time of greatest darkness in all high northern latitudes. Weyer: Daylight and Darkness makes it winter in the Northern Hemisphere. It also is what determines that there shall be the most favorable distribution of moonlight at the season when it is most needed. The moon continually revolves around the earth, completing the circuit once every month. And when it is on the opposite side of the earth from the sun, we have full moon.

At this time of the year, the arctic regions are tilted away from the sun. They are therefore tilted toward the moon when the moon is full. This means that in winter the moon will always be highest and longest in the sky when it is fullest. New moon and crescent moon will not appear above the horizon at the Pole in midwinter. The two weeks when the moon is above the horizon in midwinter are the two weeks when it is at its brightest. The same seasonal relationship favors the Antarctic, though at the opposite time of year, of course, because it is winter there when it is summer in the Arctic.


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When it is summer in the North, the moon does not waste its light in competition with the midnight sun. At that season, the axis of the earth is tipped so that the North Pole is nearest to the sun and the South Pole forth— est away. The light of the sun shines over the North Pole and down the far side of the earth. The nearest thing to night for a person on the Arctic Circle comes when the earth, in its daily rotation, takes him around to the side that is farthest from the sun. He then has to look up over the North Pole to see it, but the sun remains visible above the horizon.

Weyer: Daylight and Darkness we shall discuss this later. In any case, he will not see it for long each day. Right at the North Pole, the moon is continuously below the horizon for about two weeks during its brightest phases in midsummer. As the moon wanes, it shows itself more and more above the horizon during the northern summer. Since by the very nature of its motion it has to be be— low the horizon almost half of the time each month at every season, it is for— tunate that it gives the Arctic its weaker phases in summer when there is so much sunlight and that it reserves its stronger phases for the season when the sun provides the least light.

In this explanation we have pretended for the most part that the path of the moon around, the earth lay in the same plane as the path of the earth around the sun. This does not materially modify the seasonable relationship we have been dis— cussing. But it does change the height to which the moon rises in the sky at any one time and place from year to year. And it determines how far north one has to travel, to see the lunar equivalent of the midnight sun. Weyer: Daylight and Darkness tilt and sometimes subtracted from it.

This cycle is completed about every In the moon reached its peak altitude. In September of , it again reached its highest altitude. The exact height varies slightly from one peak to the next but not enough for us to consider here. Pure coincidence certainly, but tragedy also overtook the Greely expedition in northern Greenland when the moon was approaching its lowest point.

Peary made his famous polar hourney when the condition was about average. The moon hung high when Vilhjalmur Stefansson began his celebrated expedition of , and he completed it under an average moon. Five years later, when the Wrangel Island expedition perished, the moon was again at its worst. It is not visible appreciably longer each month. But even so, it is more useful for certain types of hunt— ing and, other sorts of activity than when it is not rising so high. At the opposite time in the Value of the Moon.

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Though the full moon gives only about a half a millionth as much light as the sun, its illumination is very important to those who live in the Arctic. In winter, when both direct and indirect sunlight are absent much of each day, the ground is usually snow-covered, and it therefore reflects ouch more light. Also, there is a minimum of dust in the air in arctic regions, because most of the surface is sea, lake, or swamp. Smoke is rare so far from factories and forest fires. These things make the air in the Arctic especially clear and cause the moan to shine with special brilliance unless there are clouds or fog.

Vilhjalmur Stefansson consulted a number of polar travelers and found them to agree that on a cold midwinter night you get more useful light from half a moon on a snowy landscape than from a full moon shining on a green landscape. It is his opinion that, with a clear sky, you can see a mountain range as far by the light of the stars and half a moon as you can by sunlight. Several arctic pilots he wrote to agreed that you can land an airplane about as safely with half an arctic moon as with daylight.

Some informants have said that half a moon does not give quite as much light as you would ideally want but that freedom from glare compensates for the brighter light of a daytime landing on snow. Weyer: Daylight and Darkness full. These flyers, however, are all from Alaska, all have their main exper— ience in the Yukon valley, not on the prairie north of the Brooks Range or on the Arctic coast. This brings out an important thing — that clumps of forest scattered here and there about an otherwise snowy landscape detract from the total reflecting effectiveness more than you would expect.

For one thing, the moon is usually at a slant so that the trees not only absorb the light which strikes them directly but also throw a shadow over same more of the landscape. Then there are like shadows thrown by rocks and cutbanks, while cliffs are usually dark because they are steep. Mountain slopes are not on the average as effective with moonlight as are horizontal landscapes I of this Encyclopedia , though they do not give these sharp shadows and are not predictable.

Moonlight and Hunting. If the Eskimos had to stop hunting when the sun went down, a great many of them would starve.

Daylight and Darkness in High Latitudes

Stores of meat and fuel laid aside for winter help greatly, but these people secure a significant share of their provisions during twilight and moonlight. The first brilliant moonlight after the winter ice has formed is a favorite time for hunting the polar bear among the Eskimos of northern Greenland.

The principal sealing season among many groups of Eskimos is during the arctic night. Weyer: Daylight and Darkness chiefly among the groups farthest north, like the Polar Eskimos of Smith Sound, and even there only when the moon does not brighten the landscape.

And if stores have been secured in the normal course of events to tide over this season, the natives enjoy many activities less ardently pursued at other times, such as visiting, dancing, and ceremonial festivals. Stefansson points out that sealing is easier under waning illumination than caribou halting is, for in the latter, field glasses are as important as the rifle, and this makes daylight necessary for any considerable success.

It is interesting that one type of sealing - that with nets placed under the ice - is practical only during darkness. Even the moon interferes with this type of hunting, and a bright aurora is said to be unwanted. Summarizing, the moon goes through its phases each month in the Arctic as it does elsewhere. But whereas in moderate and tropical latitudes it is below the horizon about half the time whether it is new or full, in the Arctic it remains above the horizon continuously for long periods when it is bright— est and most needed.

Even a half moon is a welcome aid to the traveler and hunter. At its brightest its light, reflected through clear air by the snow cover, exceeds anything oriinarily seen in the tropics. It is of considerable practical value to those living in the north; and its silvery brilliance, fall— ing upon, mountain peak, crevassed glacier, and nestling hamlet has caused many to extol Its esthetic qualities. Water Sky, Land Sky. Under certain light conditions, especially when the sky is uniformly over— cast with reasonably high clouds, the navigator or sledge-traveler in the Arctic Sea can make good use of their reflective power in setting his course.

They show him where there is open water, where ice, and where land of different sorts. Weyer: Daylight and Darkness Indeed, the sky becomes like a map of the territory beneath. The sailor is particularly anxious to find open water or lanes in the ice wide enough for him to navigate. These appear on the sky map as dark areas between white patches. The sun, shining through the clouds on areas different— ly colored or lighter or darker, produces this effect. Even the character of the ice can be ascertained. One kind of surface ice, the paleocrystic, has been converted by many summers of rains and thaws into a small-scale equivalent of an undulating prairie.

The hollows are choked with snow, the hills that have been swept free of snow are blue in ap— pearance, because, as elsewhere explained, old ice is always fresh and glare. Paleocrystic floes are, then, reflected to the sky by round, oval, or at least not angular, dark patches in a matrix of white.

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Those which are several weeks or months old are smoothly snow covered and are there— fore shown by the clouds more uniformly white than any other ice; and so you will discover long ribbons in the sky representing them cleanly. Other leads have ice from one to several days old, and they are represented by sky ribbons of various degrees of darkness.

Those leads in which the water is still un— frozen are shown the darkest of all, practically black…. This is not as pro— nounced as if caused by open water. Nor did the pillar of fire abandon them at night, in order to provide light for them and lead them on the path they took. Let that day become darkness; may God not seek it from above, nor may daylight shine on it.

May its morning stars grow dark. May it wait for daylight but have none; may it not see the breaking of dawn. Or [why] was I not hidden like a miscarried child, like infants who never see daylight? They meet with darkness in broad daylight ; at noonday they grope around as if it were night. They break into houses in the dark; during the day they remained sealed in.

They don't know daylight. How long must I worry, and suffer in broad daylight? How long will my enemy gloat over me? He will vindicate you in broad daylight , and publicly defend your just cause. How sweet is the daylight , and how pleasant it is for someone's eyes to behold the sunshine! Otherwise, when the sun, daylight , moon, or stars turn dark, or when clouds fail to return after the rain. They will roar over it at that time, like the sea waves roar. If one surveys the land, watch out!

There's darkness and distress; even the daylight is darkened by its clouds. We go on our way, like blind men feeling for the wall, even like those who have no eyes: we are running against things in daylight as if it was evening; our place is in the dark like dead men. I will set fire to Egypt; Pelusium will writhe in anguish, Thebes will be breached, and Memphis will face foes in broad daylight. In the morning, at the earliest sign of daylight , the king got up and rushed to the lions' den.

But there is one who made the constellations Pleiades and Orion; he can turn the darkness into morning and daylight into night. He summons the water of the seas and pours it out on the earth's surface. The Lord is his name! It will come about at that time," declares the Lord GOD, "I will cause the sun to set at noon and the earth to darken in the daylight. Therefore, it will be night for you- without visions; it will grow dark for you- without divination. The sun will set on these prophets, and the daylight will turn black over them.

What I tell you in darkness you must speak in the daylight , and what is whispered in your ear you must shout from the housetops. And in the morning, long before daylight , He got up and went out to a deserted place, and there He prayed. When daylight came, He summoned His disciples, and He chose 12 of them-He also named them apostles:. Therefore, what you have said in darkness will be heard in the daylight , and what you have whispered in private rooms will be shouted from the housetops.

When daylight came, the elders of the people, both the chief priests and the scribes, convened and brought Him before their Sanhedrin. But they strongly urged him, "Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the daylight is nearly gone. We must work the works of Him Who sent Me and be busy with His business while it is daylight ; night is coming on, when no man can work. Jesus replied, Are [there] not twelve hours in the day?

If anyone walks around in the daylight , he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. At daylight , there was a great commotion among the soldiers as to what could have become of Peter. When daylight came, the chief magistrates sent the police to say, "Release those men! Now when daylight came, the Jews formed a plot and bound themselves by an oath and under a curse neither to eat nor drink till they had done away with Paul. Then, fearing we might run aground in some rocky place, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for daylight to come.

When it was just about daylight , Paul urged them all to take food, saying, "Today is the fourteenth day that you have been waiting and going without food, having eaten nothing. When daylight came, they did not recognize the land, but sighted a bay with a beach. They planned to run the ship ashore if they could. The night is nearly over, and the daylight is near, so let us discard the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.

Let us walk with decency, as in the daylight : not in carousing and drunkenness; not in sexual impurity and promiscuity; not in quarreling and jealousy. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that daylight should surprise you like a thief;.



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