An Analemma, Infinity, And Dec. 22 (Western Perspective)
Taken by Cary Rand, John Stetson on March 11, 2004 @
South Portland, Maine
Click photo for larger image
Camera Used: NIKON E995
Exposure Time: 10/407
Date Taken: 2012:09:10 09:55:20
From February 2003 to Feb. 2004, my student, Cary Rand, created an analemma.
An analemma is an example of a science project that can be completed with just a gnomon (a stick) and a marker. By marking the shadow cast by a gnomon at a fixed time each day over the course of a year, an analemma reveals itself. The Egyptians may have created analemmas as early as 1500 B.C. The pattern is the archetype for our mathematical symbol for infinity.
We also made an interactive animation that allows the viewer to place a cursor over individual observations on the analemma and see the date: http://mainerobotictelescope.com/#analemma
I hope this analemma project provides some perspective on the sun/earth relationship and where we might be on Dec. 22. (On this analemma, the observation on day after the winter solstice appears at the top of the analemma [by the window]).
In South Portland, Maine, at 43 degrees north, the suns maximum altitude on Dec. 22nd will be 23 degrees above the horizon. And everyday thereafter it will rise until the summer solstice.