Archive - Afternoon Analemma for Athens

January 23, 2021


Every weekend we present a notable item from our archives. This EPOD was originally published January 23, 2004.

Provided by: Anthony Ayiomamitis
Summary authors & editors: Anthony Ayiomamitis; Jim Foster

The image above is a set of 44 multi-exposures on the same frame of film taken from January through December of 2003, in Athens, Greece at precisely 16:00:00 Local Meridian Time (the foreground was added later). This analemma represents the motion of the Sun during the course of one year as observed in the late afternoon. As a result of the Earth's tilt about its axis (23.5 degrees) and its elliptical orbit about the Sun, the position of the Sun in the sky changes from one day to the next, even when observed at the same time on each day of the year. Furthermore, the figure 8 loop the Sun makes in the sky over a 12-month period (analemma) will be inclined at different angles depending on one's geographical latitude. The latitude of Athens is approximately 38 degrees. Imaging the Sun over a given location for an entire year is a demanding photographic accomplishment indeed -- few such attempts have been successful.

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