For a few seconds on Friday, Mumbaiites couldn’t see their own shadow. If you missed it, your shadow will go missing again on Saturday, at 12.35pm.
This phenomenon – called the No Shadow Day – is witnessed when the sun is exactly overhead. It takes places twice a year, and on Friday, it lasted for 35 to 40 seconds.
“To observe this phenomenon, you can stand or place a vertical object in the sun close to noon, and you will see the shadow getting shorter and shorter, and eventually disappear, only to reappear later,” said Arvind Paranjpye, director of Nehru Planetarium, Mumbai.
A Zero Shadow Day can only be witnessed by those living between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.
“If we observe the sunrise (& sunset), we see its position shifting over the horizon day by day northwards from December 21, and then southwards from June 21. In India we call this Uttarayan and Dakshinayan,” said Paranjpye.
“Between these two limits, the sunrays fall vertical on different latitudes on different dates. And on these dates, those living on that particular latitude will see their shadow disappear when the sun is right over head. Mathematically, it should be one particular day - but one can ‘see’ the zero shadow a day before or after,” he said.