The Summer Solstice

Today marks the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere.  At 6:09 PM CDT the Sun’s direct rays will be located over the Tropic of Cancer which is approximately at 23.5 degrees north latitude.  If you were standing at that point at solar noon (which is rarely 12:00 PM) you would not cast a shadow as the Sun would be directly overhead.

The only location in the United States where you could observe this phenomenon during the year would be in Hawaii as all the main islands are south of 23.5 degrees.  Key West, Florida comes close, but that location is at approximately 24.5 degrees north, so although you would cast only a tiny shadow, the Sun would be at 89 degrees above the horizon today, not quite the 90 degrees necessary to be directly overhead at solar noon.

In Fargo Moorhead, the Sun will reach 66.5 degrees above the horizon today, the highest of the year and this is in stark contrast to the Winter Solstice in December, when the Sun will peak at only 19.5 degrees.

As strange as it may sound, on my bucket list is to be in a location where the sun is directly overhead someday at solar noon and have a picture taken.  Someday.