Fairbanks is a city located in the interior of Alaska, United States. It is the second-largest city in the state, with a population of approximately 31,000 people. Due to its location in the far north, Fairbanks experiences extreme variations in daylight throughout the year. During the summer months, the city experiences almost 24 hours of daylight, while in the winter months, the sun may not rise for several weeks. This unique pattern of daylight makes Fairbanks an ideal location for observing the aurora borealis, which is a major attraction for tourists.
Fairbanks is known for its beautiful night lights that illuminate the city, which makes it an attraction for stargazers and skywatchers. However, like other cities, Fairbanks has been affected by light pollution, which is the excessive and unnecessary use of artificial light at night. This pollution not only affects the view of the night sky but also has negative effects on the environment and human health.
The primary source of light pollution in Fairbanks is the streetlights and lights used in buildings. These lights often stay on throughout the night and emit a large amount of light, contributing to the overall light pollution. The airport, which is one of the busiest in Alaska, also contributes to the light pollution. Additionally, the military presence in the city also adds to the light pollution with the usage of lighting during night training exercises.
Fairbanks is home to several well-known landmarks, including the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center, and the Pioneer Park. The UAF campus is located on a hill overlooking the city and offers stunning views of the city's lights at night. The Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center showcases Alaska Native cultures and is a popular destination for tourists. Pioneer Park is an outdoor museum that celebrates the city's history and has several light displays throughout the year.
The people of Fairbanks have developed several habits to deal with the extreme variations in daylight throughout the year. During the summer months, people take advantage of the long daylight hours to engage in outdoor activities such as fishing, hiking, and camping. During the winter months, people often use artificial light to brighten their homes and businesses. The aurora borealis is also a significant attraction during the winter months, and many people venture outside in the freezing temperatures to watch the spectacle.
The industry in Fairbanks primarily revolves around the military, tourism, and the university. The military presence in the city contributes significantly to the local economy and provides many jobs. Tourism is also a vital industry in Fairbanks, and the city attracts many visitors throughout the year who come to see the northern lights and experience the unique Alaskan lifestyle. The University of Alaska Fairbanks is another significant employer in the city and contributes to the local economy through research and education.
According to the Light Pollution Map, Fairbanks has a moderate amount of light pollution, with a Bortle Scale rating of 5. This rating indicates that the city experiences moderate light pollution and that some stars are still visible from the city. However, this rating could vary depending on the time of year and weather conditions.
Fairbanks is a city with a unique pattern of daylight that makes it an ideal location for observing the aurora borealis. However, like other cities, Fairbanks has been affected by light pollution, which is primarily caused by streetlights, building lights, and the airport. Despite the light pollution, Fairbanks remains a popular destination for stargazers and skywatchers, and the city has several well-known landmarks and attractions. The people of Fairbanks have developed habits to deal with the extreme variations in daylight throughout the year, and the industry primarily revolves around the military, tourism, and the university.