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A shadow is an area where direct light from a light source cannot reach due to obstruction by an object. It occupies all of the space behind an opaque object with light in front of it. The cross section of a shadow is a two-dimensional silhouette, or reverse projection of the object blocking the light. The sun causes many objects to have shadows and at certain times of the day, when the sun is at certain heights, the lengths of shadows change.

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Shadow length when caused by  the sun changes dramatically throughout the day. The length of a shadow cast on the ground is proportional to the cotangent of the sun's elevation angle-its angle relative to the horizon. Near sunrise and sunset, when 0 = 0 and cot(0) is infinite, shadows can be extremely long. If the sun passes directly overhead, then 0 = 90, cot(0)= 0, and shadows are cast directly underneath objects.

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