The 116th Midnight Sun Baseball Game took place on Monday night. The first pitch for the annual Solstice event was fired off at 10pm. The game is played in its entirety without the use of artificial lights.
The seventh inning stretch usually lands around midnight, with the playing of the Alaska Flag Song. It’s quite the event, and brings out the largest crowd of the season for the Panners.
Growden Park was looking pretty good after some off season renovations, and the Goldpanners are fielding a decent team this year.
The Alaska Goldpanners have hosted the game since 1960, and have a dominating record of 47-14. In 2020, with the Goldpanners in hiatus, the game took place with a men’s league team losing to a Legion All-Star team. The game has never seen artificial light, and it has never been rained out.
On Monday/Tuesday, the Panners defeated the Everett Merchants 3-0.
The photo above, which I’ve posted on here before, was taken at midnight on a hike out to Tolovana Hot Springs. At the top of the pass, I took this photo, before dropping down into the hot springs. Most people trek out here in the winter months, by ski, dog sled or snowmachine. We hiked out in June, and it was a slog, but we had the springs to ourselves, which was an incredible few days. Very fond memories.
Fairbanks, in case anyone was curious, will see 21 hours and 49 minutes of daylight, with the rest of the 24 hours being filled in with civil twilight.
The camera, for the above photo, was an old Canon Canonet; the film I believe was Fuji, probably high speed.
On the Winter Solstice, we neither gain nor lose daylight here in Interior Alaska. The day today will be the same length as yesterday: 3 hours, 47 minutes long.
But tomorrow, tomorrow we will gain 20 seconds. Christmas Eve will see a gain of a minute, and by New Year’s, our daylight will last more than 4 hours.
It’s a big deal here in the north.
There will be a double treat in the skies this year, as we get to experience the rare “double conjunction”. Saturn and Jupiter will be so close together in the low southwestern sky, that they will appear as one bright point. The best time for viewing will be one hour after sunset.
The last time Jupiter and Saturn put on this “joint force” in the sky was in 1623.
Our length of day has dropped below 12 hours, here in the Interior of Alaska. 11 hours and 22 minutes, to be exact. The length of visible light has shrunk to 12 hours 59 minutes. Yesterday had 6 minutes and 38 seconds of more daylight.
There have been several hard frosts already, but no snow in Fairbanks. The low, so far at the cabin this autumn, was 22F.
Check those headlamps; it’s all downhill until December 21.