Sunday, December 31, 2006

P's Corner - Spaced Out Sundays

Since this is the end of our calendar year, I thought it might be interesting to have a look at Analemma's. Described in Wikipedia as:
"...a curve representing the 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). For instance, knowing that Earth's average solar day is exactly 24 hours (by definition), an analemma can be traced by plotting the position of the Sun as viewed from a fixed position on Earth at 24-hour intervals for an entire year. The resulting curve resembles a figure 8."

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

Analemma's can also be plotted from the vantage point of other planets. The following simulation shows the late afternoon Sun that would have been seen from the Sagan Memorial Station once every 30 Martian days (sols) beginning on Pathfinder's Sol 24 (July 29, 1997):

Martian Analemma
Digital Illustration Credit & Copyright: Dennis Mammana (Skyscapes)

And, finally, I'll leave you with this beautiful Lunar analemma picture taken at the Organ Mountains in southern New Mexico, USA, by Rich Richins:

Analemma of the Moon
Credit & Copyright: Rich Richins

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