Good morning! Some exciting tidbits in my news feed this morning (exciting for us science and astronomy nerds, at least) – the Day of Zero Shadows is rapidly approaching Dar es Salaam! Thanks to our local space gurus at Astronomy in Tanzania for this update.
Between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer, the Sun is directly overhead exactly twice every year, and when that happens, objects cast no shadow whatsoever. It’s all due to the perfect alignment of that place on Earth’s surface with the Sun, 153,000,000 km away. You can find some more information on Zero Shadow moments here and here.
For my room in the science building, my Zero Shadow Moment will happen at exactly 12:10pm on Saturday, 11 October 2014. It’s not like a Mayan end-of-times prediction (which was falsely misinterpreted by archaeologists, by the way), but it’s a cool twice-a-year phenomenon that’s unique to only a few places on the planet. And the fact that it’s dependent on a giant ball of hydrogen and helium gas undergoing nuclear fusion 8.3 light minutes away just adds to the cool factor. Check out this online calculator to see if you can’t see your shadow either, wherever you live