Analemma (12:28:16 UT+2)
Solar Image Gallery

Anthony Ayiomamitis

Incredible as it may sound, only seven times has someone ever managed to successfully image the solar analemma as a multi-exposure on a single piece of film. An analemma is basically 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 when observed at the same time on each day over a period of twelve months. Furthermore, this loop will be inclined at different angles depending on one's geographical latitude.

As suggested by the relatively few number of successfully completed analemmas (seven total including the pioneering photo in 1979), the imaging of the sun over local skies during the course of twelve months is considered one of the most difficult and demanding astronomical phenomena to image. The analemma presented below is one of TEN analemmas completed during a marathon started in 2001 in an attempt to document the complete range of analemmas from sunrise to sunset (see here). It is further unique as it represents the second of eight analemmas ever imaged during a single calendar year and certainly the second analemma ever imaged in Greece and the first analemma ever imaged perfectly vertical on the southern meridian.

Note: For an animation involving the analemma at 13:00:00 UT+2 and which beautifully documents the actual motion of the sun during twelve consecutive months when observed at precisely 13:00:00 UT+2, please see the example here.

Note: As noted elsewhere, more men have walked on the moon than have successfully photographed the analemma (see S&T, Dec/2003: 73).

Image Details
Analemma with the Parthenon (447-438 BC)
Imaging Details

332,900 x Earth

Mean Eq Diameter:
109.1 x Earth

147 million km

RA / Dec:
18h 46m 59s /
-23° 00'


Jan 12, 2002 - Dec 21, 2002
12:28:16 UT+2

Athens, Greece

Canon A-1
Canon FD 24 mm @ f/11
Fuji Super HQ 200
Baadar Solar Filter ND5

1/60 sec
41 multiple exposures +
  1 foreground exposure

Photoshop V6

Resampling (25%)
JPG Compression

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Photos: Copyright © 2001-2018, Anthony Ayiomamitis
Illustration: Copyright © 2001-2018, Anthony Ayiomamitis
Source: A Vibrant Universe in Vivid Colour, Copyright © 2001-2018, Anthony Ayiomamitis.

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