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The First Ever Analemma

By: Dennis di Cicco

 

Region: Americas

Site: Massachusetts - USA

Date: 1978-1979

If you take a picture of the Sun at the same time each several days (on one single frame), the shape traced out by the Sun over the course of a year is an analemma. The Sun's apparent shift is caused by the Earth's motion around the Sun when combined with the tilt of the Earth's rotation axis. The Sun will appear at its highest point of the analemma during summer and at its lowest during winter. Analemmas created from different Earth latitudes would appear at least slightly different, as well as analemmas created at a different time each day. The above analemma was built up by Sun photographs taken from February 27, 1978 to February 17, 1979 from New England, USA. As noted by the TWAN photographer and long time Sky&Telescope editor "The analemma was my second year-long photographic attempt at recording it – the first missed the top of the “loop.” it was the first successful photograph of the analemma ever made, and even today it stands as one of only a few showing the scene without a composited foreground. Most people say you have to be nuts to attempt a year-long exposure of the Sun. Those who have succeeded will probably agree!". See more samples of great analemma photographs at Anthony Ayiomamitis TWAN gallery. Dennis di Cicco.

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