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Night, Additional Subthemes

Subthemes: Records, Expressions

The subthemes of Night discussed above were animated by a a poem about surmounting the dark of life, an exhuberant painting of a sleepy hamlet ablaze with stars overhead, a recognition in song of the power of support, and a movie with comic night scenes. Here are two more subthemes that don’t link so directly to any of the four works of art.

Records: Superlatives about night are not as easy to find as for other subthemes. A few are collected here.

Shortest night: In the northernmost city in Alaska, Utqiaġvik, the sun stays above the horizon for about 82 days, from around May 11 to August 1. In the northernmost town in the world, Ny-Ålesund, on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, the Midnight Sun lasts for 131 days or so, from about April 17 to August 26. Time and Date

Darkest period of night: Whenever the sun is more than 18 degrees below the horizon, which depends on your latitude and the date. The period of darkness is distributed equally either side of midnight. Quora

Brightest star: Sirius, the “Dog Star,” in winter; Arcturus, the brightest star in the constellation of Bootes, The Herdsman, during the summer, which is the fourth-brightest star visible from Earth. Forbes

Number of stars visible by naked eye: The night sky here is rated a Bortle scale 4 (rural dark sky).” the upper end of estimates total about 10,000 visible stars. Other estimates place the number at more like 5,000. Earth Sky

Brightest lighthouse: The Phare du Créac’h, on the island of Ouessant, in France and the “new” Cape Point Lighthouse in South Africa are both visible for 60km, or about 37 miles. U.S. Lighthouses

Brightness of the sun: For each square meter on Earth, our sun lavishes 127,000 lumens. 16.24 quintillion lumens of sunlight hit here every second Kogalla.

Brightest event in the universe: A super-luminous supernova is a type of stellar explosion with a luminosity 10 or more times higher than that of standard supernovae.[1] In June 2018, AT2018cow was detected and found to blaze 10–100 times brighter than a normal supernova. Wikipedia

Expressions: Below are a few score figurative sayings that relate to Night. For a master list of online sources that have contributed idioms to the various Themes, see Work Additional Subthemes( ). For this collection of 60, aside from identifying candidate expressions myself, I drew heavily on The Free Dictionary.

all cats are gray in the dark (qualities that distinguish people from each other fade in some circumstances)
all hours of the day and night (any time)
all right on the night (something will succeed, even if problems loom now)
bad moon rising (something bad in the foreseeable future is about to happen)
bank night (entry tickets are entered into a drawing; the ticketholders win if they are at the drawing)
because you touch yourself at night (nonsensical response to a “why” question)
black as night (very dark)
bunk down for the night (go to bed to sleep)
burn the midnight oil (work studiously, late into the night)
call it a night (end the activities of the evening and go home)
creature of the night (person who enjoys staying out late)
dance the night away (lose track of time in enjoyment at night)
day and night change (complete transformation)
dead of night (very late at night)
different as night and day (complete contrasts)
early hours of night/morning (1-4 am or so)
far into the night (late, quite late)
first night (a play’s opening)
fly-by-night (shoddy, possibly a scam, business)
grave-yard shift (working after midnight at a job)
hens night (bachelorette party)
hotter than a hooker’s doorknob on nickel night (very popular)
how can you sleep at night? (asked of a person who should feel guilt or remorse)
I must say good night (it’s time to leave a party or event)
I was up all night with a sick friend (classical excuse for someone having an affair)
ladies' night (a time at a bar or nightclub when women are charged less or admitted free)
lady of the night (a prostitute)
like a thief in the night (stealthy, surreptitious)
like ships that pass in the night (people who meet briefly but intensely and then part, never to see each other again)
mooning someone (dropping your trousers and flashing your behind)
moonlight flit (disappearing, often without paying the rent)
moonshine (illegally produced liquor)
moonstruck (doting, deeply in love)
morning after night before (usually means a hangover)
morning, noon, and night (all the time)
night of the long knives (a treacherous betrayal or ruthless action)
night on the tiles (out for a night of entertainment)
night on the town (an evening of splashy entertainment)
night out (a date)
night owl (a person who likes staying up late)
night to remember (memorable evening)
nightcap (last alcoholic drink of an evening)
nightmare scenario (terrible concatenation of events)
one-night stand (sexual relations one time, with no commitments)
pull an all-nighter (student who studies or works all night)
Saturday night special (cheap handgun)
sing before breakfast, cry before night (if you’re happy in the morning, something bad may happen)
spend the night with somebody/together (sleep with a person)
spend/stay the night (stay over and have sex)
stag night (guys only going out)
still of the night (the period late at night when it is quietest and darkest)
stronger faith with a clear night sky (outer space is considered a source of spirituality and faith) the night is young (it’s still early enough to keep partying)
things that go bump in the night (scary creatures or imagined frights)
three dog night (cold, so cold you need three dogs in the igloo for warmth)
till all hours (of the day and night)
time to call it a night (must leave the party or event)
watches of night (hours of the night)
wee small hours (of night/morning)
witching/devil’s hour (a time of night that is associated with supernatural events)

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