Sun Rises On Antarctica 11 July 2024

Australian Antarctic Division

After five weeks of winter darkness, Davis research station is basking in the brief glow of a rising sun.

But Davis Station Leader, Brett Barlee, said the past month of 24 hour darkness had its perks.

"It's been a real treat to walk outside after breakfast and see the brightest stars I've ever seen and the possibility of an aurora," he said.

"It's been far from gloomy!"

The last sunrise on 2 June lasted about one hour, with a similarly brief return of the sun on 7 July.

Within that time the station experienced 'civil twilight', where the sun sits six degrees below the horizon.

"It's the sort of darkness where you could find your way to your car, but you'd need to turn on the headlights," Mr Barlee said.

Preparations for Midwinter on 21 June, and the promise of a celebration steeped in more than a century of tradition, buoyed expeditioners' spirits, as the darkness deepened.

"Celebrating Midwinter was hugely important because it marked the halfway point in our stay, and although we're still in the midst of winter now, most of us reckon the hardest bit is behind us," Mr Barlee said.

The Davis station team is nine months in to a year-long stay and looking forward to making the most of their remaining three months.

"The time has flown by and there's mixed feeling about our work here coming to an end," Mr Barlee said.

"We're all looking forward to seeing our loved ones again but we'll miss the little things; the conversations and spontaneous sharing that's only possible in the presence of like-minded people who have bonded together through a common experience."

For now though, the team is enjoying the return of a familiar friend.

Check out our sunlight hours animation and graphics.

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