Pontianak – BRIN Public Relations. Seconds before the sun hovers directly above the equator are marked by the sounding of sirens and erection of eggs in the area of Equator Monument by invited guests from the Indonesian Military, National Police, West Kalimantan High Prosecutor’s Office and the Regional Leadership Coordination Forum (Forkompinda) as well as other invited guests who were present at the Pesona Kulminasi Matahari event hosted by the Pontianak National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) Team (Monday, 21/3).
Every 21-23 March and 21-23 September is known in Pontianak as Day Without the Shadow of the Sun. BRIN’s participation (which was previously carried out by LAPAN) has become a routine part in the solar culmination day activity to provide the people of Pontianak with solar education and observation. This celebration is unique in Indonesia because Pontianak is the only big city in Indonesia traversed by the Equator line and right in the city area. While in other regions and parts of the world, no urban areas are passed precisely by the equator. During the event, there is a show by the residents in which eggs and sticks are erected standing upright without a shadow, which is a natural phenomenon that occurs twice a year.
As usual, the moment of sun culmination is held at the Equator Monument. In his welcoming speech, the Mayor of Pontianak, represented by the Deputy Mayor of Pontianak Bahasan, explained that in 2022 this rare moment is held in a restrictive manner by observing the health protocols due to the state of the Covid-19 pandemic in Pontianak is included in level 3 Public Activity Restriction (PPKM).
“It is said that if we are right on the equator line during the solar culmination phenomenon, we will stay young,” said Bahasan. The Equator Monument with its natural phenomena is an extraordinary moment, not only for the City of Pontianak but also for Indonesia. Bahasan believes that if this area is managed properly, the Equator Monument will become an attraction for tourists and become part of leading tourism destinations in West Kalimantan Province.
Pontianak BRIN researcher Suraina said that solar culmination is not a new thing for the community, especially in Pontianak. The shadow less day or solar culmination becomes an annual event that occurs due to revolution of the earth circling the sun having its rotation axis shifted by about 23o.
In Indonesia, this moment can happen twice a year. How come? If we look at the globe, Indonesia stretches from 6o South Latitude to 11o South Latitude and is divided by the equator. With this geographical location, the sun will be above Indonesia twice a year. The first occur from 21 February to 5 April, the second occur between 6 September to 21 October, 2022.
Pontianak is a city located on the equator. That is why Pontianak is known as the equatorial city because it is traversed by the 0o latitude. For observers who are being at the equator, the sun will be directly above their heads at noon.
Suraina explained that when the sun is right at the zenith point or overhead or above Indonesia, there is no shadow formed by an upright object at midday. So this phenomenon is also known as Day Without a Shadow of the Sun. “The time and date of solar culmination will be different in each region of Indonesia. At its culmination, the sun is at its highest point above our heads. You could say the maximum height, so people often refer to it as the culmination peak. The sun is at its maximum height over the head (peak culmination) in Pontianak on 20 March at 11.50 West Indonesia Time. The difference with 21 March is not significant, which is around 0.1o or 19 seconds,” he said.
Head of the Youth, Sports and Tourism Office (Disporapar) of Pontianak City, Syarif Saleh Alqadri said, although we are still grappled with the Covid-19 pandemic, it does not mean that the enthusiasm to boost the tourism sector slackens. According to him, the culmination point festival has become a national event from the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy (Kemenparekraf).
“And we all must be proud to be citizens of West Kalimantan Province, especially Pontianak City which has a culmination point event that does not exist in other provinces. The culmination in September 2022 is scheduled to be attended directly by the Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy. Hence, we can advance the Province of West Kalimantan and the City of Pontianak,” he concluded. (miswari/ed:aps)