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is it possible to have two shadows yet one light source?
- cheryl (age 14)
Most shadows made by a single light source actually do have two parts, the Umbra and Penumbra
You can also get two separate shadows from one light source if you have
two different objects to create them. But no, if you only have one
light source and one object, you can't get more than one separate
ps. Ok, I guess if you took a long
fluorescent light bulb and wrapped the center of it with black paper,
then each end of the bulb would act like a single light source. Then
the one bulb could create two separate shadows from just one object.
But practically speaking, even though it's just one bulb, the two
uncovered ends would really be two separate light sources.
(republished on 07/29/06)
Follow-Up #1: two shadows
I was noticing yesterday as i walked outside that i had two shadow's. it made me turn around to see who was behind me n there was no one there. I have heard that it means your going to die soon. I want the real answer please.
- miki (age 45)
You get two shadows when the light is coming from two main sources, maybe two different street lamps.
(published on 08/27/12)
Follow-Up #2: double shadow
When I was outside it was in the afternoon and i wasn't near any street lamps. So is this possible?
- miki (age 45)
Could there have been reflections of the sun off some windows or metal surfaces?
(published on 08/28/12)
Follow-Up #3: two shadows
No there wasn't anything around me, atleast nothing within 50 feet of me.
- miki (age 45)
We're completely stumped.
(published on 09/01/12)
Follow-Up #4: double shadows
This is a response to the question & answer about the "two shadows". At the end, you were stumped.
On 7/30/13 I saw a double shadow of myself when I was coming out of my work building in the afternoon around 6:00 or 6:30pm. I have never seen this before. I looked behind me to see if there was a partial cloud close to the sun shining but it was just the sun shining brightly. The second shadow was faint to the left of me and my main shadow was to the right of me. But as I was walking out toward my car, it just faded more and more, very strange to see that. I checked again with the same conditions a couple days after and there was no 2nd shadow. I'm sure it was some atmospheric condition that caused this to happen like a light going through some kind of a prism (or water drop) where it splits off or something. Very phenominal.
- Laurie (age 60)
SLC UT, USA
Maybe youre story will help some reader figure this out.
(published on 08/03/13)
Follow-Up #5: Repeatability of Shadows
My friend and I were standing in a carpark at 9pm tonight and we noticed that we had 3 shadows each and couldn't believe what we were seeing. Other people were walking past us in the same spot and only had one shadow. our shadows were really big and noticeable and their shadows were small and narrow. My friend believes that it meant that our guides from the spirit world were around us.....could this be true if you believe?
- maddy (age 18)
penrith nsw australia
I'm sure the shadows were just some interesting geometry of the lights in the carpark and exactly where you and the passersby were standing...
If I were you, I'd go back, and see if you can recreate the shadows! Assuming the lighting is the same as it was, you should be able to figure it out. :)
(published on 11/23/13)
Follow-up on this answer.