As seen on Astronomy Picture of the Day, one full year of solar motion is captured in this multi-exposure analemma image from shore of the Caspian Sea in Baku, Azerbaijan. Analemma is the figure “8” loop that results when one observes the position of the sun at the same time of day over the course of a year. The 23.5° tilt of the earth’s axis of rotation and its elliptical orbit about the sun result in the apparent change in the sun’s location in the sky when observed at the same location at the same time of day over a year’s time. For this image the photos are all made during the local noon. The highest point shows the sun near the day of Summer Solstice (June 21) and the lowest marks the shortest days near the Winter Solstice (Dec. 21).

Explained the photographer: “After moving to Baku in December 2011, I had quickly realized that the city was no good for TWAN imaging because of its excessive light pollution. So, I decided to take on daytime imagery instead, an analemma project. I first completed a sunrise analemma which were photographed between April and September 2012, and was in fact the second analemma work after my Tutulemma back in 2006. This noon analemma project, appears here, started before the second one and ended after it. From a spot I marked on the sidewalk of my job site, I shot 5-panel all-sky panoramas every 7~10 days. The shooting time was 12:40 local time (GMT+4) or 13:40 summer time (GMT+5) corresponding to local noon in Baku. I started shooting the first one on 14th December 2011 and shot the last set on 6th December 2012. I used a 8 mm f/3.5 circular fisheye lens, which is normally enough for a single shot all-sky picture. But the Peleng lens I use loses sharpness along the edges, so I went for 5-panel panoramas. I did not
use any kind of filter to block the Sun and at this shooting made a series for HDR processing instead. So, every imaging day needed shooting of 18 separate pictures to be processed later. That is why it took 4 months for me to get this final picture, after completion of shooting back in December. So, here it is; an all-sky, high (and low) noon analemma.”



comments (15)

  • Terry Reply

    Why the large gaps near the winter solstice?

    April 29, 2013 at 9:17 am
  • Tunç Tezel Reply

    The bottom left hand gap was caused because of a 18-day spell of cloudy weather during the second half of January and the first few days of February as well. In fact, after shooting the Sun through some clouds on 3rd February, it went bad again for a few more days. The second gap at bottom right was during November, when I was away in Australia for two weeks to see total Solar eclipse on 14th November. I was also away for about 3 weeks in May when I went to USA for the annular eclipse of 20th May 2012, but that gap is not much evident, thankfully.

    April 29, 2013 at 1:02 pm
  • Andrea Reply

    How cool is this! So mathematical in nature it seems so perfect!

    April 30, 2013 at 7:20 am
  • Chip Reply

    That is SO amazing. Where I live in Southeastern Alaska you could never take that picture Tunc. We never see the sun enough. My picture would have gaps all over it. Great job!

    May 5, 2013 at 8:53 am
  • Tunç Tezel Reply

    Thanks Chip! It would be interesting to see an analemma that were taken from far north. The bottom loop would be so close to horizon or could even be lost if it were photographed from north of the polar circle. The weather would be another problem, surely.

    May 7, 2013 at 4:43 am
  • Phil Reply

    Interesting also how the shape is the same as the symbol for infinity.

    May 14, 2013 at 10:10 pm
  • skywriter Reply

    The image offers exceptional educational value, artistic beauty and high professional processing!

    October 14, 2013 at 12:28 am
  • Hansil Reply

    Looks like the Infinity symbol,great work.

    February 20, 2015 at 1:20 pm
  • Ron Limon Reply

    This is so awesome the Lord has been giving me a vision of the type of figure, I’m still seeking what He is going to show me. When I first had this vision I seen a ball of light in the middle of the figure 8. Will share more in due time.

    October 8, 2015 at 10:58 pm
  • rob gotshall Reply

    Great shot(s). I am trying to obtain analemma compositions from many locations throughout the world- different geographical locations. Any references you could guide me to would be helpful.
    Thank you.

    March 29, 2016 at 4:55 am
  • creese Reply

    Would this exact same pattern appear every year in the same spot or would it move around? Thanks.

    March 23, 2017 at 12:55 pm
  • Tunç Tezel Reply

    (Replying creese:)
    Yes, if you take the pictures at the same time of day from the same location, the pattern will be repeated at the same position in the sky. If you shoot at a different time of day for a year, then the pattern will be the same, but at a different position in the sky.

    April 2, 2017 at 4:36 am

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