Child wearing woolly hat stands in front of child's poster showing the sun.
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Sun returns to the arctic archipelago, Svalbard

Thursday, 8 March was a big day in Svalbard - the first chance to see the sun since last October.

More than 2,000 people live in the town of Longyear on Svalbard - a Norwegian archipelago well inside the Arctic Circle, half way between the top of Norway and the North Pole.

It is the northern-most inhabited place on earth.

Residents have had to put up with many weeks of total darkness, before dull daylight returned last month.

But Thursday was the day when the town, surrounded by high mountains, finally saw its first direct rays of sun.

Not surprisingly, it was cause for celebration.

The BBC's Paul Henley reports.

  • 08 Mar 2012
  • From the section Europe
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