Long Shadow Crosses The Moon Over The City Last Night

Andrew MacNair


How long can long shadows be? The longest shadow I know is the shadow of the moon cast by the sun in parallax as it moves behind on a full Lunar Eclipse. In the city, some long shadows are often seen as a whole; some seen as a fragments. How long a long shadow is hard to determine visually because of the distortion, the stretch of the initiating form.

The ratio between the height of original form and the long shadow’s length seems to have no name. We can call it Form Height (FH) to Shadow Length (SL.) This ratio may or may not seem to matter, except in architecture it does matter because buildings cast shadows. And while architects do sun and shadow studies, they are not very good at understanding the nature of shadows much less making shadows as positive form.

A stretched shadow can be seen as a kind of short shadow elong ated into a long shadow. Some way, all shadows are stretched and therefore long via elongation.

A full lunar eclipse in fact involves two long shadows overlapping each other. The long shadow of the sun shining on the earth which is cast out to the moon; and then the long shadow of the moon also made by the sun hitting the moon; but this second shadow behind the moon starts to gradually dissolve as the firs edge of the shadow of the earth, the penumbra, moves across the face of the moon. The earth’s shadow erases the moon’s shadow, or it makes a softer back shadow on the back, dark side of the moon. At some point shadow begins, at some point it disappears.

If there is a soft pre-conditioning edge, a preparatory transitional not-a-shadow shadow to the full total shadow of the full total lunar eclipse where the area of the penumbra acts as a typological in-between shadow, then one wonders if there is an in-between light and dark, a penumbra in regular shadow formation on a smaller scale and here on earth?




This is a little independent tabloid magazine looking into three expanding fields of Architecture, Not Architecture, and Not Not Architecture between ancient and future time and space.
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