Lahaina Noon

29 Jul

Forgot to mention this when it happened – but Hawaii is the only state in the US to experience a moment where there is no shadow…

On one day each May and another each July, the sun is directly overhead on the major islands of the Hawaiian chain. These two days are called Lahaina Noon, and occur on different dates and times, depending on the latitude.
As the sun moves northward from the Equator toward the Tropic of Cancer, it passes directly overhead at all latitudes in between. When it reaches the Tropic of Cancer on June 22, the farthest north it will appear overhead each year, it is the Summer Solstice. On its return trip south, it will again pass overhead.
Hawaii is the only state in the U.S. that experiences Lahaina Noon because of its location within the tropics (between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn). This event had no name until 1990 when Honolulu’s Bishop Museum Planetarium sponsored a naming contest. The winning entry: “Lahaina Noon” in Hawaiian means, “Cruel Sun.” Every location has its own time for local noon and Lahaina Noon.

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