Image Courtesy of Paquita Zuidema

From: Dr. Paquita Zuidema
at sea, November 18, 2008

Solar Noon

Yesterday (November 17), the Sun was directly overhead of the Ron Brown during a true Solar Noon. You can sort of tell from our shadows - they are small and directly below us. This happens twice a year for locations within 23.5 degrees of the equator.

Most of the time the Sun is at a slant in the sky in relation to you and I, even during the middle of the day - you can check this yourself by looking at your shadow. In November, the southern hemisphere is moving towards its summer, with its summer solstice happening on about December 21. Today our latitude was 19 degrees S this day, and from now until the end of the year the Sun will appear to be slightly to our south at this location (though not much). In combination with the very dry atmosphere, the Sun is quite intense when it's not cloudy!

Even though it was solar noon, our clocks said it was 2 pm in the afternoon, because the boat is keeping the same time zone as Chile. Maybe you can also tell from the photo that I've been cutting my own hair lately!

Postcards from the Field: Climate Science from the Southeast Pacific

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