Lāhainā Noon is that moment when the Sun is directly overhead. At the moment of Lāhainā Noon shadows disappear.
As the islands lie south of the Tropic of Cancer there is a day when the Sun will pass directly overhead as the summer solstice approaches, generally in late May. There is a second noon as the Sun’s position moves south again in July.
The term Lāhainā Noon is unique to the islands, being adopted by the Bishop Museum in the 1990’s to describe this event. The Hawaiian term lā hainā translates roughly as cruel Sun.
The exact date and time varies significantly across the islands and from year to year. The table below shows the time of Lāhainā Noon for various cities in 2019.
The equinox is defined as the time at which the Sun passes through the plane of the Earth’s equator. Until the fall equinox occurs on Sep 22nd, the Sun will be located in the northern hemisphere with a positive declination coordinate.
Today the length of the day and night will be very near equal, thus the term equinox. the Sun will rise and set nearly exactly due east and due west.
Today is considered the start of spring for most cultures in the northern hemisphere, or the start of fall for those in the southern hemisphere.
Winter solstice occurs today at 16:28HST. Today the Sun will occupy the most southerly position in the sky of the year. The term solstice comes from the Latin terms Sol (the Sun) and sistere (to stand still). On this day the Sun seems to stand still as it stops moving southwards each day and begins move to the north. This is the first day of winter as marked by many cultures in the northern hemisphere. Alternately, this is the first day of summer for those folks in the southern hemisphere.
Fall equinox occurs today at 10:02HST. Today there will be little difference between the length of the night compared to number of daylight hours. This is the first day of fall as marked by many cultures in the northern hemisphere.
Today the Earth is furthest from the Sun, a point called apehelion. We will be about 152,096,000km (94,508,000miles) from the Sun. Compare this to the 147,099,000km (91,403,000miles) we were at perihelion on January 4th, a difference of about 4,996,000km (3,104,000miles) occurring throughout one orbit.
It may seem odd that we are actually at the furthest for the middle of northern summer, you just have to remember that proximity to the Sun is not the cause of the seasons. The seasons are caused by the axial tilt of the Earth, creating short and long days throughout the year, with a resulting change in the angle and intensity of the sunlight.
Summer solstice occurs today at 18:24HST. Today the Sun will occupy the most northerly position in the sky of the year. The term solstice comes from the latin terms Sol (the Sun) and sistere (to stand still). On this day the Sun seems to stand still as it stops moving northwards each day and begins move to the south. This is the first day of summer as marked by many cultures in the northern hemisphere. Alternately this is the first day of winter for those living south of the equator.
This year many calendars will mark September 21st as the summer solstice, and so it is for much of the world. Here in Hawaiʻi the solstice actually occurs on the 20th when considering the time zone differences.