The Arctic Circle

The Arctic Circle

The Arctic Circle is an imaginary line that marks the latitude above which the sun does not set on the day of the summer solstice (usually 21 June) and does not rise on the day of the winter solstice (usually 21 December). This is now parallell of latitude 66º 33′ 39″ N. Everything north of this circle is known as the Arctic. The position of the Arctic Circle is determined by the axial tilt of the polar axis of rotation of the Earth. This angle is not constant so the circle is moving north by about 15 meters per year.

Iceland lies just below the Arctic circle and the country has less than 1 km² of territory north of the circle. This area is on the island of Grimsey, which lies directly on the Arctic circle, north of Akureyri in north east Iceland. About 155 people live in Grimsey, the main occupations are fishing and fish processing.

Isafjordur lies only 30 nautical miles south of the Arctic circle and Hornvik bay is only 5 miles from the circle.

AURORA has crossed the Arctic Circle a few times and we have an opportunity to cross it on our trips to the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve.

The first picture on the right shows the GPS reading when we are crossing the Arctic circle in 20-30 knots of NE wind last July.

The second picture shows a map of the Arctic.