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Question: I have been given a table that shows the length of a shadow at different times during the day in summer. The table shows the shadow at its shortest at 1pm. Why does it show this, as I thought the shadow would be shortest at 12 noon?   


Answer:  Your reasoning that the shadow is the shortest at mid-day is spot-on!

The wording of the question is the key to the answer. It says that the measurements were made in Summer. So this means that British Summer Time (BST) is being applied. BST is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time and so what looks like 1pm is really 12 noon.

The safest sort of answer is to say that the shadow is shortest when the sun is at its highest point, and in this particular question that is at 1 pm because it is BST.




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