Analemma: the Sky-walk of Solaris

by 5ocietyx

This is what the sun’s annual pilgrimage across the heavens looks like.

In astronomy, an analemma from Greek ἀνάλημμα “pedestal of a sundial”) is a curve representing the changing angular offset of a celestial body (usually the Sun) from its mean position on the celestial sphere as viewed from another celestial body (usually the Earth). The term is used when the observed body appears, as seen from the viewing body, to move in a way that is repeated at regular intervals, such as once a year or once a day. The analemma is then a closed curve, which does not change.

Because of the Earth’s annual revolution around the Sun in an orbit that is elliptical and tilted relative to the plane of the equator, an observer at a fixed point on the Earth sees the Sun appear to move in an analemma around a mean position, taking a year to do so. The mean position appears to revolve around the Earth once every mean solar day, because of the Earth’s rotation. This daily revolution is not considered to be averaged out to get the mean. The mean position of the Sun is therefore at the same place in the sky at the same time every day, but not at other times.

Therefore if the observed position of the Sun in the sky is plotted or photographed at the same time every day, or every few days, for a year, the points trace out the analemma.

The Analemma and the Temple of Olympian Zeus

The Analemma and the Temple of Olympian Zeus Credit & Copyright: Anthony Ayiomamitis

See’s article for an in depth scientific explanation of this sublime sacred geometry movement hidden from our perception by time but bought into view by photography and patience. All you need to do is photograph the same spot at the same time over the course of a year.

Infinity symbol

Infinity symbol

Infinity symbol

The Sun’s percieved journey over a year is an exquistite if lob-sided infinity symbol