Lāhainā Noon is a bi-annual tropical solar phenomenon when the Sun culminates at the zenith at solar noon, passing directly overhead (above the subsolar point). The term Lāhainā Noon was coined by the Bishop Museum in Hawai'i.
The Lāhainā Noon can occur anywhere from 12:16 to 12:43 p.m. Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time. At that moment objects that stand straight up (flagpoles, telephone poles, etc.) cast no shadow. The most southerly points in Hawaii experience Lāhainā Noon on earlier and later dates than the northern parts. For example, in 2001 Hilo on the Island of Hawaiʻi encountered the overhead sun around May 18 and July 24, Kahului, Maui on May 24 and July 18, Honolulu, Oahu on May 26 and July 15 and Lihue, Kauai on May 31 and July 11. Between each pair of dates, the sun is slightly to the north at noon.
Chosen in a contest sponsored by the Bishop Museum in the 1990s, Lāhainā Noon was the selected appellation because lā hainā (the old name for Lāhainā, Hawaii) means "cruel sun" in the Hawaiian language. The ancient Hawaiian name for the event was kau ka lā i ka lolo which translates as "the sun rests on the brains."
In popular cultureEdit
Activities are associated with the event. The phenomenon occurs in stories, including "Lāhainā Noon" by Eric Paul Shaffer (Leaping Dog, 2005), which won the Ka Palapala Po'okela book award for Excellence in "Aloha from beyond Hawai'i".
Sky Gate, a unique sculpture in Honolulu created by world-renowned artist and landscape architect Isamu Noguchi, features a bendy, bumpy ring that drastically changes height as it goes around. Most of the year, it makes a curvy, twisted shadow on the ground, but during "Lahaina Noon", the height-changing ring casts a perfect circular shadow on the ground.
- Clock, sun rarely match at noon Explanation of Lahaina Noon[dead link]
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- Nakaso, Dan (May 26, 2011). "Shadow lessons: Educators will show kids and adults the marvels of a Lahaina Noon event". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Archived from the original on August 4, 2011.
- Keany, Michael (June 30, 2008). "Skygate". Honolulu magazine. Retrieved September 9, 2020.