June 20 marks this year’s Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. On this day, the sun is as far north as it will get. Henceforth it will appear to move southward, and the days will shorten until Winter Solstice in December: an “eternal” oscillation for us Earthlings. If you lived in Havana, Cuba; Bhopal, India; or Guangzhou, China, your shadow would appear to vanish at local noon on the Summer Solstice. But for us in Boulder, at approximately 1:01 PM Mountain Daylight Time, your shadow will simply be the shortest it will be all year. In addition, your shadow will point true north. So find a flat place to stand with a good view of the ground beneath you, and celebrate the highest point of the sun on the longest day of the year by facing true north and admiring your shortest shadow.
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