The white nights - the habitual phenomenon for northern latitudes. But in St. Petersburg they seem especially bewitching. In twilight ancient houses, small streets and monuments change.
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The white nights - as it is clear from designation, nights in which the sun only slightly sets for the horizon. Evening twilight lasts till the morning, and darkness does not fall by the city. The peak of the white nights falls on June 21-22, i.e. a summer solstice. During it the sun most closer is to the Northern hemisphere (where the city - on - Neva is located). Further to the South in these dates the shortest nights and long days are observed. And in St. Petersburg during this period of night in general "vanish", giving way to twilight. It does not mean that becomes light-as in the afternoon, - for example, nevertheless it is better to read the book at additional light from a lamp. But it is possible to walk on the city quietly, without being afraid of dark lanes, - they simply are not present at this time.
In spite of the fact that the peak of the white nights is the share of a summer solstice, they begin to it and proceed still some time after. Of course, nights start being shortened after a winter solstice, on December 22, but rather light they become somewhere in May. That period which got used to be called in "white nights", comes around June 10th, the 22nd reaches apogee and then gradually declines. At the end of June twilight still long, but already on July 2-3 they are condensed to habitual night darkness.
The described phenomenon has the same nature, as polar days and nights which last half a year. The point is closer to the North Pole, the well in it days in the winter and is longer - in the summer. The return situation is observed in the Southern hemisphere where "white nights" come in the winter (in December), and in the summer, on the contrary, quickly darkens. For the same reason on the equator always short morning and evening twilight, also does not happen "white nights", "dark days". Therefore the also many notice that nights come very sharply there and are so suddenly replaced in the clear afternoon.