Mumbai locals were shocked to see that the sun had lost its power to cast shadows on Monday when the city witnessed the rare celestial phenomenon of Zero Shadow Day. For those unfamiliar with this rare event, it’s a day where the sun casts no shadows and objects in direct sunlight look like they’re part of a botched video game.
Mumbai locals witness Zero Shadow Day
Locals jumped at the chance to capture rare images and clips on May 15 as they witnessed the rare phenomenon. Mumbaikars flooded social media platforms with videos and images of objects that cast zero shadows even when in direct sunlight.
This phenomenon occurs twice a year as the position of the sun is exactly above, at a 90 degree angle to the earth, resulting in no shadows being formed on the earth’s surface. During that day, the sun reaches its highest point, which leads to a reduction in the length of the shadow. Therefore, it gives the appearance that no shadow has formed on the Earth’s surface.
zero shadow day #ZSD in Bombay It is a phenomenon that occurs only twice a year. For Mumbai, the days are May 15 and July 28. July is usually rainy, so May 15 is the best for observation. pic.twitter.com/8rl20mC8vb
— जय भवानी जय शिवाजी 🇮🇳 (@MaheshGNaik) May 15, 2023
According to the Indian Astronomical Society, “For people living between +23.5 and -23.5 degrees latitude, the sun’s declination will be twice the same as their latitude: once during Uttarayan and once during Dakshinayan. On these two days, the sun will be exactly up at noon and will not cast a shadow on an object on the ground. This Zero Shadow Day will clearly be different for different places on Earth.”
Locals find it fascinating that the city is witnessing Zero Shadow Day
The people of Mumbai were excited to witness the phenomenon as many took to the streets to experiment in the sun. IAS Jitin on Twitter shared images of children playing cricket in the blinding sun as no shadows were cast under their feet even while playing in the sunlight.
Yesterday, #Mumbai observed a ZERO SHADOW DAY, when the Sun is at an angle of 90° to the Earth’s surface, the shadow disappears completely for a few minutes, occurs twice a year at locations between +23.5° and – 23.5° latitude- Pictured: a group playing cricket in Shivaji Shadowless Park. pic.twitter.com/vBxp8QNCuI
— Jitin Yadav (@Jitin_IAS) May 16, 2019
Another Twitter account shared images of objects that cast no shadows and wrote: “ARC educators team celebrated #zero_shadow_day in #Mumbai today. A zero shadow day is a day when the #Sun does not cast an object’s shadow at noon, when the sun will be exactly at the zenithal position.
Today the ARC Educators team has celebrated #day_of_zero_shadow in #Mumbai. A zero shadow day is a day on which the #Sun it does not cast an object’s shadow at noon, when the sun will be exactly at the zenith position. pic.twitter.com/jEHXwFdTWj
— ARC EDUCATORS (@ArcEducators) May 16, 2022
Astrophysicist Debiprosad Duari explained the phenomenon, telling PTI: “People and any objects, worldwide, that lie between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn lose their shadows, albeit momentarily, twice a year. These two moments are called moments of zero shadow.
To catch the phenomenon for a second time, Mumbai locals can keep an eye out for zero shadows on July 27 and 28. While the actual phenomenon only lasts for a fraction of a second, its side effects can be seen for up to a minute and a half.
Tell us what you think about this rare celestial phenomenon in the comments below.
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