The Sun Near the Equinox

May 10, 2005

050318-192 copy

Provided and copyright by: Laurent Laveder, Optics of the Atmosphere Gallery
Summary authors & editors: Laurent Laveder

The above photos were taken from Le Guilvinec, Bretagne, France and show the position of the Sun one day and two days before the Vernal Equinox -- March 18 (left) and March 19 (right). By chance, the Eckmühl Lighthouse (about 4 km away) is just West of Le Guilvinec -- the Sun is setting behind it. On these composites, you can see that the Sun's positions is higher and more to the right on March 19 than on the 18th. There was quite a bit of atmospheric turbulence, so the landscape and the Sun appear fuzzy. Notice that on the 18th, the Sun is setting just at the south of west (a bit less than 270 degrees) and on the 19th, it's just to the north of west (a bit more than 270 degrees). Unfortunately, March 20, 2005 was cloudy. Always use utmost care in looking toward the Sun with binoculars, a telescope, a camera or, of course, your unaided eye.

Photo details: Olympus Camedia 5060 DC, DCL-4337 eyepiece, 80/480 refractor telescope, 100 ASA, 1/500 s to 1/45 s.

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