I am writing a story set in the North near the Arctic Circle (anywhere on the planet, as this is an alternate Earth). The question concerns the natural phenomenon of the midnight sun in general.
I’ve researched “Midnight Sun” “Summer Solstice” “Arctic Circle” etc (which yielded the very interesting fact that living above the arctic circle means you don’t have to mow your lawn as much and references to a Stephenie Meyer book. Which probably just means that I’m terrible at research.)
I also found a lot of information about the midnight sun itself, as in where and when, but my question is really what happens just before or just after? How do you get from permanent light to permanent dark in practical terms? I understand that the midnight sun isn’t just one day but rather a longer period of time? Is there ever a time when there is an extremely short night? How long would the shortest one last? I can’t imagine how it works. The sun dips behind the horizon and then comes back up soon after. Is it actually dark during that time or more of a twilight? And how far away would the earliest point in time be for a night like that in relation to the solstice?
This is my first time posting here. I hope my post and tagging is okay. I’m sorry if the question isn’t very clear. That's probably the reason why I couldn’t solve it with an internet search. Any help would be appreciated.
ETA: Thank you all so much for your very detailed and helpful, not to mention fast, responses. This was exactly what I was looking for. I can't thank you enough. It is very much appreciated.