Observe your shadows disappear

Zero Shadow Day in Kozhikode

On Saturday, at 12.26 p.m., all shadows will disappear from Kozhikode. It is not magic, but a rare astronomical event wherein the sun is directly above us.

With every one spending time at their homes due to the lockdown, there is no better opportunity to explore the possibilities of a Zero Shadow Day.

Zero shadow happens twice a year, once during the sun’s Uttarayan (northward journey) and the other during Dakshinayan (the journey back). So the event will repeat this year on August 22 at 12.30 p.m. But given the climatic conditions of Kerala, the latter would probably be on a rainy day, sources at the Regional Science Centre and Planetarium in Kozhikode said.

On the Zero Shadow Day, at the designated time, any vertical object, including our own body, will not cast a shadow. The phenomenon will be visible from any place lying between the ‘Tropic of Cancer’ and ‘Tropic of Capricorn’, i.e. located between 23.5 degrees north and 23.5 degrees south. But the date and time may vary. For Kozhikode, the phenomenon will be most visible at 12.26 p.m. on Saturday.

To view it, one just needs to be in a location where the sky is visible clearly, a terrace or open garden if possible. Get positioned 10 minutes early and observe one’s own shadow getting shorter by the second and vanishing completely by the designated time. It reappears as soon as the moment passes.

Science enthusiasts can experience the phenomenon without violating lockdown norms. The Android application, Zero Shadow Day, available in Play Store gives more information on the event. It is safe to record the event using smartphones, sources said.

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Printable version | Jul 2, 2020 9:40:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/observe-your-shadows-disappear/article31368562.ece

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