A Tropic of Cancer sign has been found in the Omani town of Al Atakiya in Amerat region. Image Credit: Supplied

Muscat: A signboard reading Tropic of Cancer has been found in the Omani town of Al Atakiya in Amerat region and has left many confused.

But a plausible explanation was given recently by Engineer Muhammad bin Nabhan Al Battashi, a member of the Oman Astronomical Society.

The signboard placed by Oman Astronomical Society, on both sides of a road indicates that the imaginary line of Tropic of Cancer enters the Sultanate, starting from As Sifah and passes through Al Amerat, Vanga, Wadi Al Ma’awal, Rustaq, and Ibri towns.

Summer solstice

Mohammed said that the signboard was placed in this particular site to indicate that the Tropic of Cancer that runs from east to west passes through this geographical point. “Tropic of Cancer (northerly latitude) is an imaginary line wherein the sun is directly overhead on the day of the summer solstice which happens in June. The lands that are located in the Tropic of Cancer are rumoured to be hotter than others. But it is incorrect, as the climate of a place is linked to several factors, including height above sea level, level of humidity and wind movement in addition to proximity to water sources and forests.”

He explained that the Tropic of Cancer was so named two thousand years ago, as the sun was in the sun sign of Cancer at the time of summer solstice then. Because of the oscillation of the earth, the sun which is in Taurus will return to Cancer after about 24 thousand years.