Lunar Analemma

May 30, 2014

Lunar analemma 1200

Photographer: Gyorgy Soponyai; Gyorgy's Flickr site 
Summary Author: Gyorgy Soponyai

The composite image above shows a lunar analemma taken from the bank of the Danube River in Budapest, Hungary, as observed from March 15, 2014 through April 14, 2014. I expected photographing the Moon during an entire lunar month would require a year or more since clouds would interfere with this project. However, late winter and early spring were remarkably clear this year in the Budapest area.

The Moon needs 27.3 days to complete a revolution around the Earth (sidereal month) -- also to complete a lap in the analemma (lunar) curve. But the period of lunar phases are two days longer: full Moons occur every 29.5 days (synodic month). The difference between the sidereal and synodic month is evident here -- at every point of the analemma curve the Moon shows a different phase, in different laps.

In the foreground is the Hungarian National Theater, the Palace of Arts and the Eastern pillar of Rakoczi Bridge. Note that the bow wave of a passing boat somewhat mirrors the curve of the analemma.

Photo details: The Lunar photos (widefield and a closeup) were taken between March 15 and April 15, 2014; one photo every 24 hours, 50 minutes and 48 seconds. Lunar closeup photos taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera; Canon EF 200/F2.8 L. Foreground photo taken on April 9, 2013, with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera; Carl Zeiss Distagon 28/F2.8; F5.6; 1 second exposure; ISO 200. Software: Adobe Photoshop 7.0.