Uummannaq Polar Institute

Return to frontpage

UPI Astronomy
UPI Astronomy project

Project title:

An initiation to Astronomy and the specificities of
Uummannaq skies.
Finding our way through the arctic night sky with our
own eyes, and telescope observations.


In Uummannaq, the annual changes of the land, the sea and the sky are naturally aligned with the rhythm of the seasons. Our scientific understanding of the solar system tells us that, because the Earth axis is tilted, every 6 months the northern hemisphere gets more or less Sunlight than the southern hemisphere. Because Uummannaq is only 20° away from the North Pole, the influence of seasons is quite noticeable: Uummannaq does not see the Sun from November 7th to February 4th, and the Sun never sets from May 16th to July 28th, and both land and sea get covered in ice and snow for a good part of the year.
With this project, the children of the Children's Home and the community of Uummannaq are invited to look up, with their eyes and through the UPI telescope, and bring their attention beyond the clouds, beyond the northern lights, to observe the movements of the Sun, the Moon, the planets and to look deeper into star clusters, nebulas and galaxies.
For millenials humans have done astronomy with their eyes. Most standard constellation names come from a 2000 years old Greek civilisation. But the sky remains a book that anyone can read and connect to their culture. UPI Astronomy is also about exploring the connection between the stories people tell about the sky and their culture.


This project is designed to involve the community of Uummannaq into astronomical observations, for orientation, to bring light on celestial objects and their characteristics, and eventually to connect people to the sky through understanding and observations.
First through naked eye orientation and understanding of the position of the stars. The goal is to bring up to life Inuit stories about the stars, as well as to facilitate the creation of new stories to help navigate the night sky and better understand astronomical phenomena.
Then through the brand new UPI telescope: a Dobson Skywatcher 254/1200. This telescope can magnify celestial objects up to 200 times and provides quality observations of all the planets, the Moon and deep sky objects such as nebulas, clusters and galaxies.

Useful links:

Excellent map of the sky:
Daylight hours in Uummannaq:
About Moon phases:

About northern lights: ? nicely made video:
? what are northern lights:
? northern lights forecast:

The Moon

Working with the project

Visit UPI on    ·   The website is sponsered by T&H Projects   ·   Webmaster: Erik Torm   ·   Last update - Opdateret d. 19.8.2020