By Chris Spears

DENVER (CBS4) – June 21 is a pretty special day for Earth’s Northern Hemisphere!

It’s the Summer Solstice and the longest day of the year. Places like Denver will enjoy almost 15 hours of daylight.

For Northern Hemisphere inhabitants north of the Tropic of Cancer (23.5° N line of latitude) , which is basically everyone, June 21 also brings the highest sun angle of the year.

The high sun angle creates a fun phenomenon for those north of the tropics.

Shadows around the noon hour in the Northern Hemisphere are the shortest of the year.

(credit: Scott Derek)

If you go outside around the noon hour you’ll have the shortest shadow of the year.

According to a NASA article if Shaquille O’Neal, who stands just over 7 feet tall, stood outside around noon on June 21 in Los Angeles, his shadow would only be a little over a foot long.

This all happens because of Earth’s 23.5° tilt.

In case you’re wondering it’s the opposite in the Southern Hemisphere as they enjoy the Winter Solstice and the longest shadows of the year south of the Tropic of Capricorn (23.5° S line of latitude).

Meteorologist Chris Spears travels weekly in the CBS4 Mobile Weather Lab reporting about Colorado’s weather and climate. Check out his bio, connect with him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @ChrisCBS4.


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