Wednesday, May 16, 2018

No Shadows Are Cast During May 2018 Lahaina Noon in Hawaiian Islands


Summary: No shadows are cast during 2018 Lahaina Noon May 16 to May 20 as the sun shines directly overhead at solar noon over the Hawaiian Islands archipelago.


Architect Mel Choy (University of Oklahoma 1965) designed ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center so that the atrium skylight fully illuminates Texas-born, Hawaii-transplant artist Clayton Young’s Voyage of Discovery floor mosaic twice annually, during May and July’s Lahaina Noon: Imiloa Astronomy Center @imiloaastronomycenter via Facebook May 18, 2017

No shadows are cast during May 2018 Lahaina Noon as the sun appears directly overhead at apparent local solar noon across the Hawaiian Islands archipelago.
Apparent local solar noon refers to the time of the sun’s apparent contact with the local terrestrial meridian’s equivalent, coplanar celestial meridian. Astronomy and navigation’s celestial sphere is an abstract projection outward from the Earth to the sky. Earth’s imaginary meridians have analogous, imaginary meridians on the imaginary celestial sphere.
Solar noon designates the time of the sun’s local reach of its highest point in the sky. A directly overhead solar appearance only happens in the tropics. Earth’s tropical band stretches from the Northern Hemisphere’s Tropic of Cancer, at 23.43692 degrees north latitude, to the Southern Hemisphere’s Tropic of Capricorn, at 23.43692 degrees south latitude. The Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn number among five significant imaginary circles of latitude on Earth. (The Arctic Circle, the equator and the Antarctic Circle comprise the other three significant imaginary latitudinal circles.)
The sun’s directly overhead appearance takes place twice each year for each tropical location. The ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center explains that Lahaina Noon’s exact date and time in the archipelago depends on the local latitude.
The Hawaiian archipelago’s first Lahaina Noon happens annually in May. The most southerly windward Hawaiian islands experience May’s Lahaina Noon earlier than the most northerly windward islands during the sun’s late spring sweep of the Hawaiian archipelago.
The archipelago’s second Lahaina Noon occurs in July. The first and last occurrences of July’s Lahaina Noon reverse May’s solar phenomenon. The sun’s mid-summer sweep of the Hawaiian archipelago places July’s Lahaina Noon earlier in the most northerly windward Hawaiian islands and later in the most southerly windward islands.
Honolulu’s Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum begins May 2018’s Lahaina Noon sweep at Ka Lae on Hawai'i's Big Island. Ka Lae experiences 2018 Lahaina Noon Friday, May 11, at 12:19 p.m. Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time (22:19 [10:19 p.m.] Coordinated Universal Time). Ka Lae (Hawaiian: “the point”) is also known as South Point in recognition of the rocky, windy site’s status as the southernmost point of the Big Island and also of the 50 United States.
The Bishop Museum gives May 2018 Lahaina Noon days and times for eight additional locales in Hawai’i’s windward islands.
Hilo, the Big Island: Friday, May 18, at 12:16 p.m. HAST (22:16 UTC/GMT);
Hana, Maui: Wednesday, May 23, at 12:22 p.m. HAST (22:22 UTC/GMT);
Kahului, Maui: Thursday, May 24, at 12:22 p.m. HAST (22:22 UTC/GMT);
Lahaina, Maui: Thursday, May 24, a 12:23 p.m. HAST (22:23 UTC/GMT);
Lana’i City, Lanai: Thursday, May 24, at 12:24 p.m. HAST (22:24 UTC/GMT);
Kaunakakai, Moloka’i: Friday, May 25, at 12:24 p.m. HAST (22:24 UTC/GMT);
Kane’ohe, O’ahu: Sunday, May 27, at 12:28 p.m. HAST (22:28 UTC/GMT);
Lihu’e, Kaua’i: Thursday, May 31, at 12:35 p.m. HAST (22:35 UTC/GMT).
The sun’s appearance directly overhead means that solar rays make contact at a perpendicular angle with the Hawaiian archipelago. Rays that are perpendicular to the Earth’s surface have the eerie effect of removing shadows from vertical objects, such as flag poles.
The Hawaiian Islands archipelago’s popular term of Lahaina Noon for the twice-yearly solar phenomenon stems from a contest sponsored in 1990 by Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum. Lā haina is Hawaiian for “cruel sun.”
Nihoa (Hawaiian: “tooth”) Island is the only island among the uninhabited Northwestern Hawaiian Islands’ (NWHI) chain of 10 islands and atolls that experiences Lahaina Noon. Its location at 23.060556 degrees north latitude places the leeward islands’ youngest island within Earth’s tropical band. Also known as Bird Island or Moku Manu, Nihoa lies approximately 130 nautical miles (approximately 240 kilometers) northwest of Kaua’I, northernmost of Hawaii’s eight major islands.
Nihoa lies about 160 nautical miles (about 296 kilometers) southeast of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands’ Necker Island. Known as Mokumanamana in Hawaiian, Necker Island is sited at 23.576389 degrees north latitude. Before 900 C.E. Necker Island lay south of the Tropic of Cancer and, therefore, experienced Lahaina Noon. The southward drift of the Tropic of Cancer now places Necker Island outside of the tropics and in the subtropics.
The takeaway for no shadows during May 2018 Lahaina Noon in the Hawaiian Islands is that the Hawaiian Islands archipelago’s eight major islands and the leeward island of Nihoa owe their experience of a directly overhead sun in May to their status as the only U.S. tropical locations.

The curvy ring of 21st century Japanese American artist and landscape architect Isamu Noguchi’s Sky Gate sculpture celebrates Lahaina Noon in Honolulu by casting the shadow of a perfect circle onto the ground; photo looking upward at ring by Ross Togashi: Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum @BishopMuseum via Facebook May 31, 2013

Acknowledgment
My special thanks to:
Talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the Internet;
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University for superior on-campus and on-line resources.
Image credits:
Architect Mel Choy (University of Oklahoma 1965) designed ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center so that the atrium skylight fully illuminates Texas-born, Hawaii-transplant artist Clayton Young’s Voyage of Discovery floor mosaic twice annually, during May and July’s Lahaina Noon: Imiloa Astronomy Center @imiloaastronomycenter via Facebook May 18, 2017, @ https://www.facebook.com/imiloaastronomycenter/photos/a.107428654186.116707.46156119186/10155338157969187/
The curvy ring of 21st century Japanese American artist and landscape architect Isamu Noguchi’s Sky Gate sculpture celebrates Lahaina Noon in Honolulu by casting the shadow of a perfect circle onto the ground; photo looking upward at ring by Ross Togashi: Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum @BishopMuseum via Facebook May 31, 2013, @ https://www.facebook.com/BishopMuseum/photos/a.167268692109.159760.57683067109/10151654494977110/

For further information:
“2018 Lahaina Noon Days and Times.” Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum > 2018 Astronomy Highlights.
Available @ https://www.bishopmuseum.org/2018-astronomy-highlights/
Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum @BishopMuseum. "Aloha Friday Fact! The term "Lahaina Noon" is relatively new, actually invented in 1990 for a phenomenon long marked by cultures across the Pacific and the tropics more widely. . . . Photo © Ross Togashi.” Facebook. May 31, 2013.
Available @ https://www.facebook.com/BishopMuseum/photos/a.167268692109.159760.57683067109/10151654494977110/
Bryan, E.H. (Edwin Horace), Jr.; Richard Crowe; and Timothy F. Slater. Stars Over Hawaii. Third revised edition. Hilo HI: Petroglyph Press, 2015.
“The Building and Landscaping.” ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center > About Us > Mission & History.
Available @ http://www.imiloahawaii.org/106/building-the-center
Imiloa Astronomy Center @imiloaastronomycenter. “Lahaina Noon happening at 'Imiloa! . . . . Mahalo Gary Petrison for sharing your photo!" Facebook. May 18, 2017.
Available @ https://www.facebook.com/imiloaastronomycenter/photos/a.107428654186.116707.46156119186/10155338157969187/
“Lahaina Noon: Friday, May 18, 12:16pm HST.” ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center > Explore Sky Information >2018 Sky Calendar.
Available @ http://www.imiloahawaii.org/56/yearly-observational-astronomy-highlights-
Marriner, Derdriu. “2016’s First Lahaina Noon Is May 15; Next 2016 Lahaina Noon Is July 11.” Earth and Space News. Wednesday, May 11, 2016.
Available @ https://earth-and-space-news.blogspot.com/2016/05/2016s-first-lahaina-noon-is-may-15-next.html
Marriner, Derdriu. “Hilo Welcomes First 2017 Lahaina Noon Thursday, May 18.” Earth and Space News. Wednesday, May 10, 2017.
Available @ https://earth-and-space-news.blogspot.com/2017/05/hilo-welcomes-first-2017-lahaina-noon.html
“May 16-20: Lahaina Noon.” Love Big Island > 2018 Stargazing Calendar for Hawaii.
Available @ https://www.lovebigisland.com/stargazing/astronomy-calendar/year-2018/
“Necker Island.” What-When-How > Ancient Astronomy.
Available @ http://what-when-how.com/ancient-astronomy/necker-island/
Nelson, Mary Jo. “Prodigal Architects Return Cadre of OU Graduates Forms International Practice.” NewsOK. June 23, 1991.
Available @ http://newsok.com/article/2360901
Ruggles, Clive. Ancient Astronomy: An Encyclopedia of Cosmologies and Myths. Santa Barbara, CA: Denver, CO; Oxford, England: ABC-CLIO, Inc., 2005.
Valentine, Karen. “Bold and Dynamic: The Art of Clayton Bryant Young.” Keola Magazine > Art.
Available @ https://keolamagazine.com/art/the-art-of-clayton-bryant-young/
Vsauce. “How Earth Moves.” YouTube. June 13, 2016.
Available @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=IJhgZBn-LHg
Available @ https://twitter.com/tweetsauce/status/943615594837843968


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