“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.”
That poetic axiom will momentarily be literal truth Friday, when, for the second and last time this year, Bangokians will be rendered shadowless by the sun.
Just after noon tomorrow – 12.22pm, to be exact – the sun will be exactly perpendicular to Bangkok, meaning that for a brief moment, not a building, human, utility pole or soi dog will cast a shadow, the national astronomical organization announced last night.
That’s because Bangkok will be at what’s called the subsolar point in astronomy terms, a phenomenon that will move on for other nearby locales to experience the same this month and next.
This phenomenon is constantly moving around the planet is it spins through the seasons, and only hits any particular spot twice annually – mostly within a band around the equator. In the United States, for example, it only reaches Hawaii, where it is called Lahaina Noon, which roughly translates to “cruel sun.”
To experience this phenomenon, there’s only a very brief window for doing so. It will hit Pattaya at 12:20pm on Aug. 19, Phuket at 12:27pm on Sept. 2 and Songkhla at 12:17pm on Sept. 4, among other locations mapped by the National Astronomical Research Institute. Click any location on this map to find the exact moment the sun will be at a 90-degree angle.