Bhubaneswar: Residents of the State Capital of Odisha on Friday experienced the Zero Shadow Day, a rare celestial event that is generally witnessed only two times a year. Zero Shadow, which essentially means that there would not be a shadow of any object or beings when the sun is at its peak in the sky.
Deputy Director of Pathani Samanta Planetarium, Bhubaneswar, Subhendu Patnaik explained the phenomenon which started at 11.43 am and continued for a period of 3 minutes.
"We don't need equipment to see the event but we can use a white paper and place it on a flat ground, keep some vertical object like a bottle on it and study the movement of its shadow," he said through a virtual conference today.
“The phenomenon takes place as the rotation axis of the Earth is tilted at an angle of 23.5° to the axis of revolution around the Sun. When the location of the Sun moves from 23.5° N to 23.5° S of Earth’s equator, all places whose latitude equals the angle between the location of the Sun and the equator will experience Zero Shadow Days,” explained Patnaik.
The Zero Shadow Days fall during the movement of the Sun towards the Tropic of Cancer in the north (Uttarayana) and towards the Tropic of Capricorn in the south (Dakshinayana) between December 21 and June 21.
In between the two days, the places between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn witness zero shadow days on specific days. In Odisha, this year, people can experience the Zero Shadow Days on the following dates:-
Cuttack - May 21, 11.45 am
Sambalpur - May 28, 11.51 am and July 15, 12 pm
Burla - May 28, 11.52 am, July 15, 12 pm
Rourkela - June 2, 11.48 am, July 10, 11.56 am
Bolangir May 23, 11.54 am, July 20, 12.04 pm
Baripada May 31, 11.41 am, Juy 12, 11.49 am