Analemma Above the Temple of Poseidon

By: Anthony Ayiomamitis


Region: Europe

Site: Cape Sounion - Greece

Date: January - December 2004

An animated analemma of the Sun above the Temple of Poseidon (built in 440 BC) at Cape Sounion of Greece. See the complete analemma in its original still image here. Analemma is the figure "8" loop that results when one observes the position of the Sun at the same time during the day over the course of a year. As a result of the Earth's tilt about its axis (23.5) and its elliptical orbit about the Sun, the location of the Sun is not constant from day to day in the same time. The imaging of the Sun over local skies during the course of twelve months is considered one of the most demanding astronomical phenomenon to image. The analemma presented above is one of 10 analemmas completed during a marathon started in 2001 in an attempt to document the complete range of analemmas from sunrise to sunset. The animated motion of the analemma Sun is constructed from the original film negative containing the 46 single exposures (all on one frame) and a foreground exposure which added by computer. The bottom apex point represents winter solstice whereas the first solar disk to the immediate upper left is the start of January and where we observe the gradual and steady increase in the Sun's altitude from day to day. This increase continues into February and March, and by mid-April, we have reached the cross-over point between the two loops. The Sun continues its steady rise across local skies but is now on the right portion of the upper loop and which peaks at the apex point of the upper loop on summer solstice. It is at this point that the Sun will now start another gradual and steady pace but this time with declining altitude and where, during July and August, it will traverse the left side of the upper loop. We reach the cross-over point once again but this time at the end of August with the Sun now losing altitude at a greater pace while it is now on the right side of the lower loop and which will climax with the winter solstice and the apex point once again. Anthony Ayiomamitis/

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