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Polar Gateways Arctic Circle Sunrise

Polar Gateways Arctic Circle Sunrise 2008

Polar Gateways Arctic Circle Sunrise - Barrow Info

Wiley Post-Will Rogers Memorial Airport, Barrow, Alaska (BRW)

Alaska Airlines Arrival Schedules – 10:19 AM and 7:36 PM

Alaska Airlines 143 from Anchorage (ANC) departing 6:00 AM to Fairbanks arriving 6:56 AM, continuation of AA 143 departing 7:36 AM to Prudhoe Bay (SCC) arriving 8:46 AM, continuation of AA 143 departing 9:31 AM to Barrow (BRW) arriving 10:19 AM.

Alaska Airlines 145 from Anchorage (ANC) departing 4:29 PM to Fairbanks arriving 5:25 PM, continuation of AA 145 departing 6:05 PM to Barrow (BRW) arriving 7:36 PM.

Alaska Airlines 187 from Anchorage (ANC) departing 3:16 PM to Fairbanks arriving 4:16 PM, connecting on AA 145 departing 6:05 PM to Barrow (BRW) arriving 7:36 PM.

Alaska Airlines Departure Schedules – 11:04 AM and 8:21 PM

Alaska Airlines 143 from Barrow (BRW) departing 11:04 AM to Anchorage (ANC) arriving 1:07 PM, connecting to AA 162 departing 3:21 PM to Seattle arriving 7:45 PM. This allows overnight stops in Seattle for morning departures to the east coast.

Alaska Airlines 146 from Barrow (BRW) departing 8:21 PM to Fairbanks (FAI) arriving 9:43 PM, continuation of AA 146 departing 10:23 PM to Anchorage (ANC) arriving 11:23 PM. This connects to overnight and next morning flights to the east coast.

Frontier Flying Service Inc. – local flights in Alaska on smaller planes

Schedules and reservation services available at http://www.frontierflying.com/.

Aurora, Weather, Time

Auroral Forecast –University of Alaska Fairbanks


Auroral Oval Map – Quiet Auroral Activity

Aurora oval is overhead within the shaded region and visible above the horizon north of the green curve. The southern boundary of the oval extends further south with increasing activity.

Comments from Charles Deehr, UA-Fairbanks Geophysical Institute:

Auroral activity during the conference will be minimum to quiet. There may be low activity around the 23 and the 28th. However, you will be in one of the few places in the world where this level of activity will be overhead, mainly between the normal observing hours of 9pm to 3am local time.  There will also be a full moon, which subtracts somewhat from the contrast of the aurora in the sky, but it is nice to see the landscape during the time under the sky. 

Watch the short-term forecast at http://www.gedds.alaska.edu/AuroraForecast/ for activity levels.  It measures the solar wind one hour upwind at the ACE satellite and estimates the extent of the resulting aurora.

Barrow Sea Ice Observatory – Current Conditions


NOAA NWS Space Weather Prediction Center


NOAA Sunrise-Sunset Calculator


Alaska Time Zone

Alaska Standard Time (AKST) is ten hours behind Central European Time (CET), nine hours behind GMT or UT, four hours behind Eastern Standard Time (EST), and one hour behind Pacific Standard Time (PST).

Weather History for Barrow


Recommended Clothing for Barrow

Significantly subzero temperatures (0 to –30 deg. F for Jan. 23-29, 2007) and wind chill should be expected. Avoid high costs of rarely-used cold weather gear by visiting your local Army-Navy store. Thick down parka with hood, thermally insulated boots, and thick gloves are highly recommended. Innermost layer is heavy-duty (not light cotton) thermal underwear, top and bottom, over cotton undershirt with inner light cotton and outer heavy wool socks. Lower body covering should include thick warm (e.g., wool) pants. Swedish army winter pants from the Army-Navy store are cheap. Add upper body layers consisting preferably of flannel shirt and wool sweater or down vest plus lighter inner fleece or sweater for indoor wear. Cover head with wool cap and hands with light wool (military-style) inserts fitting inside gloves. Glove inserts keep hands warm when heavy outer gloves are temporarily removed for manual operations requiring dexterity, e.g. photography. Bring comfortable shoes and removable layers for indoor wear. Face coverage options are: (1) full head mask if not wearing glasses, or (2) half-mask plus snow goggles over glasses. In windy conditions, and for extended periods outdoors, it is critical to keep all skin surfaces well covered to avoid frostbite. You will not want to be wearing all of this gear on flights inbound to or outbound from Barrow, so bring along a collapsible duffel bag or extra suitcase for the heavy outer gear including boots. Limited supplies of parkas, air-insulated boots, and other cold weather gear are available from BASC for field ice expeditions, as we may do on Sunday Jan. 27, weather permitting, but you should bring your own gear for normal wear and brief outdoor excursions at other times.


Any camera should have an optical viewfinder since LCD screens on digital cameras may not work at low temperature. Batteries will tend to freeze, so keep spares warm within inner layers of clothing. This is one reason to wear light glove inserts, so you can replace camera batteries while still keeping your hands warm. The conference takes place in the first week of polar sunrise at Barrow, so outdoor lighting conditions will be low except around mid-day. Consult experts on auroral photography. Barrow is within the quiet auroral oval zone (see above), so there may be good viewing opportunities even during the current solar minimum period, but auroral photography requires long exposures.


Briefings will be provided by BASC staff. Off-shore sea ice is forming later than normal and may be thin in places even where it extends accessibly to the shoreline. DO NOT go out onto the sea or lake ice without local guides. Contrary to the recent movie 30 Days of Night, there are no vampires in Barrow even before sunrise, but close encounters with hungry polar bears can be equally horrific, so these should not be approached under any circumstances. Long romantic walks in the polar night away from inhabited areas are not recommended. BASC staff will advise of warnings on polar bear sightings in inhabited areas and will provide armed guards for field ice expeditions. The most probable danger for extended outings is frostbite, so appropriate clothing should be worn at all times as recommended above.

Local Transportation

Conference and BASC staff will provide all needed ground vehicle transportation between the airport, town, conference, and residential sites. BASC will be responsible for arrangement of ground or air transportation to outlying communities for educational outreach. Private group arrangements can be made with local commercial organizations for ground or air tours. Information on these tour options, e.g. for Sunday Jan. 27, will be provided in a later conference update.


On-site conference attendees have two main options for lodging: (1) no-cost dormitory residences (mostly shared rooms and bathroom facilities, a few single rooms available at special request in the NARL Hotel) as provided by contractual agreement between the conference organizers and BASC, and as requested by Jan. 7 via e-mail (John.F.Cooper@nasa.gov) or phone (+1-301-286-1193) to the conference chairperson, John Cooper, or (2) three commercial hotels in Barrow and the NARL Hotel at the conference site by private arrangement after Jan. 7.

King Eider Inn: ($$ - $$$). Newest hotel in town. It features a variety of rooms and suites, some kitchenettes, cable TV and phones in each room, Eskimo crafts and gifts, and movie rental. It is located a half block from the Barrow airport. Phone (907) 852-4700, fax (907) 852-2025. Their email and web site are respectively eider@barrow.com and http://www.kingeider.net/. Local tours available through the hotel.

Top of the World Hotel: https://travel.yahoo.com/p-hotel-321870-top_of_the_world_hotel-i Located near downtown Barrow, and has a restaurant (Pepe’s North of the Border) and gift shop. It offers smoking and non-smoking rooms, and gives tours of Barrow. It is within walking distance of three other restaurants and the town bank. Phone 907-852-3900, fax 907-852-6752. Room rates are $$-$$. Tundra Tours is the hotel tour company.

Airport Inn: Quiet, family-owned place located 1-2 blocks from the Barrow airport, and well within walking distance of a couple of Asian-American restaurants. The rooms are quiet and have phones, cable TV, and private bathrooms. A continental breakfast is included. Phone 907-852-2525, fax 907-852-2528. Room rates are $$ single or double.

NARL Hotel:> Dormitory style hotel, with single or double occupancy rooms and communal bathrooms. There are laundry facilities, and each room has linens, towels, telephone, and television. The hotel is conveniently located just behind the main UIC-NARL building 360, and is just steps away from the BASC office, labs, and cafeteria. Phone 907-852-7800, fax 907-852-6890. Room rates are $ single or $ double.

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Polar Gateways Arctic Circle Sunrise 2008

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