June 21st Summer Solstice In The Copper Valley: When The Sun Rises & Sets In The North

  If Shakespeare Lived In Kenny Lake, He'd Write: "It Is The North, & Juliet Is The Sun..." We're Not Like The Rest Of...

 If Shakespeare Lived In Kenny Lake, He'd Write: "It Is The North, & Juliet Is The Sun..."

We're Not Like The Rest Of The World

If there is one concept that people rely on, showing the constancy of life, it's the old saying: "The sun rises in the east and sets in the west." 
 
Shakespeare, writing 400 years ago, used the reliability of the eastern sunrise as a touchstone in one of his greatest plays. He wrote:
 
ROMEO: But soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun. 
 
Romeo loved Juliet as if she were the faithful sun, ever-rising in the east.
 
But Alaska is not Verona, Italy, where Romeo met Juliet. And it's not Stratford-on-Avon in England, where Shakespeare grew up.
 
In the 1980s, a psychologist came to the Copper Valley, and talked with local school children. He was shocked by what he learned. Why, these kids didn't even know the sun came up in the east!

Of course they didn't. The Copper Valley is at Latitude 62 degrees. Here, the fickle sun rises over the Alaska Range in the north, the Wrangells in the east, and the Chugach Range in the south. Any observant child in Copper River Country knows that the sun rises in the south in December – down at the end of the Chugach Mountains. It skims an inch or so above the horizon, to drop back behind those mountains a few hours later – setting in the south.
 
And now, we are at the summer solstice, June 21st, when the sun rises in the north. It circles the sky for 19 hours and 48 minutes, and then settles back in the north again, beyond the Alaska Range. 
 
 


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