Sunset Trace During the Equinoxes

June 21, 2019

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Photographer: Marcella Giulia Pace
Summary Author: Marcella Giulia Pace 

June 2019 Viewer's ChoiceThis image shows the trace of the Sun as observed at Gatto Corvino, Marina di Ragusa, Sicily, Italy, beginning at 4:45 pm until sunset on the day of the autumnal and vernal equinox. The choice of time is dictated by the earliest sunset time of the year (on about December 12th in the mid-latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere). Of course, on the day of the equinoxes, the Sun sets due west. But as shown here, the location of the setting Sun changes drastically as the seasons change -- from west-southwest at the winter solstice to west-northwest at the summer solstice.

Because the weather forecast wasn't promising for the actual day of the equinox (March 20, 2019), I made this image on March Monday 18, instead. During the shoot, a cat paraded on the edge of a stone wall. These old, stone walls are typical of the countryside of this part of Sicily and have recently been recognized as a World Heritage Site. I find it curious that this area is called "Gatto Corvino” (Crow Cat). So perhaps my image should be entitled "Felinox." Note that all individual shots of the sunset were taken from the same location.