Sunday, January 16, 2011
Here's another of those innumerable odd and fascinating things I never heard of until recently. I swear you could write a book about the things I don't know. The photograph above is a composite image of the sun taken at the same time and from the same place about every ten days over the course of a year. The resulting picture is called an analemma, although it could equally be called a figure eight or an infinity sign depending on your point of view.
Of the few pictures of analemmas available I chose this one because it was captured in Turkey in 2005 when a full eclipse of the sun happened during the year. All of them are very cool to see and apparently very difficult to make on one piece of film (they say more people have stepped onto the moon than have been successful) but I liked this one because it was extra mysterious. The foreground picture is usually taken as one separate image for clarity and in this case the photographer chose the midst of the totality. Yes, it's convex and we know that's not right but perception is only something we agree about in general anyway so I won't try to find a satisfactory explanation. Maybe one of you knows.
Our world spins round on its axis and wobbles back and forth over the course of a year as we spin around the sun. The sun whirls through the Milky Way while the galaxy itself pirouettes around the universe. I wonder what lesson are we supposed to gather from signs in the sky or is everything just coincidental?
If you're bored, try not to think about penguins.