The Arctic Circle is a parallel or line of latitude at approximately 66°33’ N that marks the border of the Arctic, the northernmost region of Earth. The geographic point at the centre of Arctic Circle is the North Pole. In Canada, communities located close to this cartographic boundary include Old Crow in the Yukon, Fort McPherson in the Northwest Territories, and Repulse Bay and Qikiqtarjuaq in Nunavut. The latitude of the Arctic Circle shifts slightly depending on the tilt of the Earth’s rotational axis.
The Arctic Circle marks a change in daily patterns of sunlight and darkness as one heads north. In the area of the globe between the Arctic Circle and its southern counterpart, the Antarctic Circle (which lies at approximately 66°33’ S), the sun rises and sets daily. North of the Arctic Circle, however, the sun does not set at midsummer (also known as the summer solstice), on 20 or 21 June. Conversely, the sun does not rise at midwinter (also known as the winter solstice), on 21 or 22 December. The midwinter sun can still be seen at places slightly north of the Arctic Circle when it is just below the horizon, since light rays are bent by the Earth’s atmosphere.
The latitude of the Arctic Circle shifts slightly depending on the tilt of the Earth’s rotational axis.
Explore the Arctic circle on Google Earth