Home > Problem of the Week > Archive List > Detail

<< Prev 10/8/2006 Next >>

Sun, Camera, Action!

A friend sent me the following photo, which is a real-eyebender.

It is a picture taken of camels in the desert. Look closely, you will see that the camels are the little white lines in the picture. The black you see is just the shadows!!

The picture was so unusual that it had to be shared in some way....so it was turned into a math problem. Some may consider that stretching the point, but that is essentially the task...i.e. shadows are stretching a point.

Your task: Given this photo, where would the sun be located...and at what height (or angle) in the sky would you predict?


Hint: Draw some right angles....throw in the use of some trig.....search out how the height of a camel's hump from the ground?


Solution Commentary: Discuss your answers....and reasoning.

Hopefully your discussion will focus on the height, not the sun's direction.

For an interesting variation, consider the "camel" problem on page 453 of Harold Jacobs'Geometry: Seeing, Doing, Understanding (2003), brought to my attention by Mr. Jacobs himself!