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The First Analemma Photo

February 16th 2011 02:21
Knowing that Earth's average solar day is almost exactly 24 hours, an analemma can be traced by plotting the position of the Sun as viewed from a fixed position on Earth at the same time every day for an entire year. The resulting curve resembles a figure of eight. This curve is commonly printed on globes, usually in the eastern Pacific Ocean. It is possible, though challenging, to photograph the analemma, by leaving the camera in a fixed position for an entire year and snapping images on 24-hour intervals (or some multiple thereof).

According to the National Geographic (link above), the first analemma photograph ever made—created over New England in the U.S. between 1978 and 1979—stands as one of the few analemma pictures in the world that does not use a composited foreground. The shot includes 44 exposures of the sun and a picture of a house, all taken from the same location and all on a single frame of film.

In addition, during summer solstice, winter solstice, and one of the equinoxes, photographer Dennis di Cicco made long exposures with a solar filter, beginning each day at sunrise and ending at 8:30 a.m. ET. The resulting image shows part of the sun's arc during those three days.

"Most people say you have to be nuts to attempt a year-long exposure of the sun," di Cicco wrote on the TWAN astrophotography website. "Those who have succeeded will probably agree!"

first analemma photo

*This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia page for Analemma

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