The Sun does a figure-eight in the sky over Austria [Amazing Photo of the Day]

In astronomy, an “analemma” is, according to Wikipedia, ” 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)”. In more simple terms, an analemma is a figure-eight like shape that is created by the movement of the Sun in the sky over a certain time period. Today I have a photo to show you of just that.

The following image is a compilation of photographs taken at the same location in Austria and at the same time of the day everyday for almost a year (from September 29, 2011 through September 9, 2012); the different positions of the Sun throughout the year create an analemma. Check it out:

[via NASA | Image credit: Robert Polzl]

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  • jivadas

    This is probably caused by the wobble in the earth’s axis–which also causes precession of the equinoxes, and thus the Age of Aquarius (rather than Pisces).
    Beautiful project, to do this in time. To begin with, they would have only a guess about what may happen. But dot-by-dot, they would see this marvel evolve.


  • Mike

    Thankfully, this wasn’t the motion of the sun over the course of only a day . . . .


  • John

    nahhh! same size! the guys just didn’t get close enough to take the pictures. but that’s pretty cool… always learning something new!

  • Eric989

    Apparently the sun looks much smaller in Austria.