Have you ever wondered what causes day and night? In England, we have pretty much half-and-half, but our northern friends in Scandinavia often have times during the year when it’s all day and all-night. Simply put, the earth rotates at a tilt to the sun. One side of earth is bathed in sunlight and the other in darkness (the earth blocks the sun). Because the North Pole is at an angle, the sun does not set above the Arctic Circle, so Norway gets a ‘midnight sun’ where it never sets, giving 24 hours of daylight. Sounds nice, but likely difficult to get to sleep! And in the far north of Norway, for a few months of the year the sun hardly rises, making it dark all day, though mostly covered in snow, means it’s easier to see in the dark. Some people have developed the same kind of vision as reindeer, where they see better in the dark (never visit reindeer in Christmas shopping centres, as most are terrified by the noise and bright lights).
One amazing spectacle at night is a dark sky, where there is no light pollution from shopping centres, street lights etc. Northumberland has the best night skies, likely because it has the fewest people. Too much artificial lighting (and glass) is causing birds to crash-land and wake up before daylight (see how to stop birds flying into windows and glass buildings). Elsewhere, many creatures like crabs and turtles are coming out of the sea and laying their eggs near multi-storey car parks (attracted by the light, wrongly thinking it’s the moon).
Many native mammals wake up at night including hedgehogs, badgers, owls and bats. Read Wild Nights Out, on how to conduct night walks safely. Don’t disturb wildlife if gazing at night. Using torches and lights can confuse birds and other wildlife. Just watch from afar in the dark!
Music Break: Night
Ludovico is the world’s most downloaded classical music artist. Classically trained in Milan, he is the grandson of a former President of Italy. Fortunately for us, he chose music over politics. His favourite artist? Eminem!