May is the month of astronomical events and phenomena such as the moon flower, lunar eclipses and meteor showers. Now it was Mexico’s turn to have a day without a shadow, a phenomenon also known the zenith of the sun What is on it?
The position of the Sun is in the local zenith, that is, the vertical position and occurs at noon. The event can only be seen in the intertropical zone and At equatorial latitude, these shadowless days correspond to other astronomical events, equinoxes, and times of the year. when day and night are exactly 12 hours equal.
When the Sun reaches its highest point at the zenith, no lateral shadow is cast for a few minutes, hence the common name. This usually does not happen, for things are overshadowed while the sun is shining.
“This phenomenon occurs when the Sun is exactly above our heads, at a celestial point called the zenith,” said Santiago Vargas Domínguez, Research Coordinator of the National Astronomical Observatory (OAN) of the National University of Colombia on behalf of the agency. new institution
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The expert also explains: “Time without shadow is temporary, and the Sun, while following the apparent movement in the sky, gradually began to cast shadows on objects.” In Mexico, a day without a shadow can be seen at noon on May 25 in Merida and Dzibilchaltún. And this matter, when it coincides with the coming of the solstice, is more easily seen.
The authors advise in part not to look directly at the Sun or to stay outdoors for a long time, as this can lead to sunstroke and heatstroke.
To avoid the effects of health, observing the astronomical phenomenon with a cap, glasses and fluids drinking copiously, preferably water; and in this way the effect is resisted.
Can it be seen in other parts of the world?
The Zenithal Sun can be seen at different times of the year in places that are in the intertropical zone of the planet, that is, the strip between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.
This is the largest geoastronomical zone on the planet, containing 40% of the Earth’s surface and 37% of the Earth’s land, that is, continents and islands.
In addition, it is the latitudinal space of the Earth in which the sun’s rays fall at least once a year, that is, the Sun is considered zenithal. The zenithal day occurs in places located at a latitude of 23.5º.
“In the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, one zenith day can be noted per year, while in the intertropical zones there are two opportunities to see it. If we are at a higher latitude than the Tropic of Cancer or the lower Tropic of Capricorn, there will not be any zenith day in the year,” said Santiago Vargas Domínguez.
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For this reason, in Ecuador the zenithal days of the earth occur at the equinoxes, around March 21 and September 21.
You can also see this event in Colombia. Saturday, April 1, 2023, in Bogotá, could be considered a day without a shadow and on April 5, the Medellín phenomenon occurred.. In both cities, the shadows are temporarily absent as the sun goes to the zenith.